8:00 a.m., Austin, Texas: Mr. President is fed and ready to go to uShip. Bright-eyed, full of excitement, walking towards his leash with his tail wagging. He soon learned it was Saturday and I wasn’t going to work. I was going to a wedding and it wasn’t pet-friendly. His eyes go to the floor as he crawls back in bed to spend his day dreaming of chasing balls, barking at squirrels, and obviously, more food.
Man’s best friend has become man’s best co-worker. Pet-friendly offices are seen as a huge benefit to the many people who consider their dogs family. According to a 2016 report from the Society of Human Resources Management, only 7 percent of offices in the United States allow pets in the workplace.
Locally here in Central Texas, the Austin Business Journal and the Austin American-Statesman have both covered the phenomenon. This week’s ABJ cover story (requires subscription) examines how dogs in the workplace help employees psychologically and emotionally beyond the cuteness and cuddles.
My dog, Mr. President loves coming to uShip. It’s his favorite place to be. His friends are here, human and dog alike. He’s one of 15 to 20 dogs that come into the office each day with their owners.
There’s a backyard and tons of hallways to run through, just like John Mayer. People toss him treats, give him pats, and hold him. Attention and treats: the way to a dog’s heart.
He’s a small boy so he’s able to have a bed right on my desk, overseeing all my projects. Sometimes he even climbs on the keyboard to help me write, say, a blog post. His daily activities at uShip go from naps to chasing dogs in the backyard to going to meetings.
Mr. President coming to work doesn’t just benefit him. He’s a goofy little guy who prances everywhere and up to everyone. His name is Mr. President because he likes to shake hands and lick babies. When he’s in the office, everyone gets some time with him, brightening everyone’s day — except Gary, he’s more of a cat person.
International ‘Bring Your Dog to Work Day’ is June 21, but here at uShip, every day is bring-your-dog-to-work day. More than an employee perk, having pets in the office has shown to be a stress relief, an ice breaker, and a means for socializing with your co-workers. Pet-friendly workplaces a great way to increase retention, and recruit other dog owners.
Now I’m not one to brag, but I would guess Mr. President has helped increase uShip’s employee retention rate, single-pawedly, and I know he’s gotten some people in the door. He’s a very good boy.
uShip also offers some amazing dog perks. We have had trainers on-site to help the dogs get used to each other, help puppies with some basic training, and bring together co-workers through one of the best joys in life: their dogs. Every Thursday, there’s a bus from Remington Pet Ranch that comes and scoops up some of the dogs of uShip to go play all day. HR doesn’t just provide human insurance, but pet insurance as well! uShip’s pet-friendly policies make work fun for both humans and dogs.