Thursday, September 22, 2016

It's a dog-friendly office

Nearly 90% of employees believe a dog-friendly work environment improves employee morale. (According to a study conducted by Banfield). We certainly see the impact at Protege Biomedical. 

A dog-friendly environment is said to be a way to encourage conversation, relieve stress, provide flexibility (no rushing home to let the dog out), and a huge way to attract and retain millennials. The statistics on dog-friendly workplaces are fascinating.  

I never really thought about having a dog-friendly office, until we started Protege Biomedical. Prior to this, I was at Wells Fargo downtown Mpls and Michael as at 3M HQ. We had security badges, I took the bus, and we both worked in "cubeville" with hundreds of other people on the same floor. We never dreamed of anyone bringing a pet to work.

Heidi with Mylie and Watson

When we signed our first lease for Protege Biomedical HQ (you know, HQ that isn't our basement or garage...) We saw that one of our neighbors walked their dog during lunch. I immediately got excited, realizing that we could bring our dogs to work. We don't bring our dogs everyday, because they tend to harass our guests begging to be pet and leave them with a complimentary wardrobe coating of white fur, but they do get to come most Fridays, and some other days during the week if we don't have a lot of meetings.

Right now, on most days, we only have 5 or 6 people in the office on Fridays. Heidi, Kyle, Karen, Mike, Me, and sometimes Dr. Carl. Heidi LOVES the dogs. Sometimes I look outside my office and see she's moved her computer to the floor so she can be closer to them. Kyle loves them too and likes to pick Mylie up and carry her like a baby. Karen is a cat gal. She likes the dogs, but her companion of choice is a cat. Even though we don't often find Karen on the floor with the dogs, She's always first to make sure the dogs have fresh water. Carl works in the lab, so if he's here working, we just keep the hairy dogs in another room, so we don't end up with hairy experiments (we do have another lab in St. Paul that we use when we work with blood or run any official experiments- our lab in this office is just for initial prototypes and bench testing) 
Carl, Kyle, Heidi, and Karen
Most of the time, Mylie and Watson lay outside my door. One typically right by my desk and the other in the entry. If I go to the conference room, they follow. Sometimes one will be in my door and one will be in Michael's. 

When Annie was just a little baby, I brought her to work a lot. A surprising change in Mylie and Watson happens when Annie is in the office. Typically they greet the UPS and FedEx guys with kisses, but when Annie is here they bark! First time we've ever heard them bark at the office. They (especially Watson) are especially protective of her. 
Mylie is hiding under the table
Kyle, Heidi, Carl, and even Karen know they can bring their pets to work, but so far it's just been Mylie and Watson. Heidi's rescue dog is working on good behavior, and when Heidi is ready, she will bring him in too.

We love having our furry friends in the office at least once per week. It adds an element of fun.  

If you're interested in more info on transitioning your office into a pet-friendly environment, here is a link to good website I found. Obviously, this process is more difficult if you have a larger company, but for a small start-up like ours, it hasn't been a problem. 

Until next time! 

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