• Why Your Firm Needs a Bring Your Dog to Work Policy

    By | September 23, 2014

    Look out, interns! We found someone who’ll fetch the tick marks for free!

    When I first started working in public accounting, I gave away my beloved eight-year old dog to a family friend. A veterinarian once told me “neglect is the most profound form of cruelty.” Leaving my dog locked up for hours and hours and hours at a time while I audited during busy season or kenneling her while I traveled across the state on work assignments was just too cruel. In retrospect, I should have ditched public accounting and kept the dog, but hey, live and learn.

    Having an animal requires a job with a work-life balance or “work-life integration,” as Forbes calls it, because after all, the work never really stops, does it? Some companies try to practice work-life integration by initiating “bring your dog to work” policies to reduce stress. Employees’ dogs can hang out in the cubicle or office during the work day either gnawing computer cables or populating internal control templates. A recent study by Central Michigan University (CMU) claims that dogs in the office could help build teamwork and trust. Having dogs in common, according to the research, boosts comradery and could actually make you like your coworkers more. I could definitely use a canine companion during networking events, as I traditionally hate people not named Mary Schapiro.

    The CMU study admits that dogs can be distracting to employees at first, but that as the dogs settle in, the distraction dwindles, and the workers become just as productive as before. False. If given the choice between reviewing a 10-K tie out and playing Frisbee with my dog in the hallway at work, I will ALWAYS choose Frisbee. Career advancement be damned.

    Many companies have started allowing dogs in the office, including Google, Nestle Purina PetCare Co, Zynga, Ben & Jerry’s, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, according to a 2013 Fortune article. Zynga even boasts a “wooftop” dog park and a “barking lot” outside the cafeteria. The “bring your dog to work” policy is subject to several restrictions. The dog must be current on vaccinations, non-aggressive, and not obnoxious, which is more than I can say for certain coworkers.

    For accountants who work long and brutal hours, a “bring your dog to work policy” would allow us to keep both the job and the pet. However, for the non-pet lover, it’d be a lot like being the only person on your floor who hates children during “take your child to work day.” You’d probably spend most of the work day cringing in your cube with your headphones on thinking “’wooftop’ dog park my ass.” Some articles suggest “pet-free zones” for the non-dog person or the allergy sufferer, but this may be impossible if you work on a team of dog lovers. Also, what about accidents? My beloved eight year old dog had plenty of those – up to and including the time she shit under my grad school roommate’s brake pedal while my roommate was inside Kroger buying puppy treats. That dog was not to be trusted. Accident my ass.

    Americans are definitely obsessed with their pets. They make their dogs a part of the family – including allowing them on the couch or in between the sheets at night – which, gross. Some people even file fraudulent tax returns for their pets. OK, that's taking things just a little too far.

    Would you work for a company that allowed employees to take their dog to work? Does anybody work or audit a company that allows dogs in the office? Is it helpful or distracting? Would having pets around actually boost comradery? And what about the barking?

    • 080080

      Why won’t pets ever be allowed in a public accounting office? For every ten pet lovers in the office, there’s that one joyless animal hating d-bag that wants everyone else to be as lonely and miserable as he or she is and passive-aggressively complain to HR regardless of whether or not pets in the office bothers them.

      • I wonder if the firms would let me bring kittens in for the poor, unsocialized staff to play with?

      • EZeus

        Pets in the office is a great idea. Everyone will love it when I bring in my pet rats, and if you don’t love my rats you must be “that one joyless animal hating d-bag that wants everyone else to be as lonely and miserable as he or she is and passive-aggressively complain to HR”

        • Guest

          wow, u are totally the guy he was talking about.

          • EZeus

            😉

    • N.E.R.D.

      I have dogs and they would hate being at the office every day almost as much as I do.

    • swCA

      Pets at work is a terrible idea. They stink up the place and get in the way. There was once a girl who brought her dog in without permission and it ran all over the damn place. If you’re in public accounting and want a dog, first get a house and then get a spouse who doesn’t have to work the shit hours you do.

      Sure the dog was cute, but the office isn’t your house so don’t do the following:
      – bring pets to work
      – carry on personal phone calls from your cube that nobody cares about
      – walk around without shoes on
      – claim you have to leave early every other day to get the dog from kennel or pick up kids or go to an appointment

    • Holla

      Your pet is never as cute to others as it is to you. Please don’t find another way to impose your personal life on everyone else in the office… plus, somebody may be allergic

      • My dog is cuter than your kid

        If I can’t bring in my dog for that reason can we get rid of “take your kids to work day”? plus, I’m allergic to ugly kids.

    • Bingo

      Most of the offices big4 occupy are probably not conducive to pets. maybe suburban offices would work for this type of thing, but downtown seems a stretch. It would be just as much work getting the dog into the building…and is probably a violation of the lease agreement the firm has

    • Partner

      …as long as they’re billable, bring whoever the f*k you want in to help out. We don’t do real work here anyway; just filling a niche in the $billion capital market customers we serve and bill the sh*t out of to keep the economy humming along

    • PrivateIndustry

      I bring my dog into work when my boss is not around. Why not? My boss and directors bring their dogs into the office when they feel like it.

      The interns and my colleagues in the finance and accounting depts constantly stop by and ask to “borrow” her for an hour. They even ask me when I will bring her in.

      I don’t think my dog enjoys it that much, though. On the days I bring her in, she sleeps in her carrier half the day while I work. Then she walks up and down the hallway looking bored in between being leased out. The only thing she looks forward to is pissing and pooping on the company lawn.

      And good job on this article, Leona!

      • Coxswain3

        “…pissing and pooping on the company lawn.”

        This is what I look forward to everyday.

    • SouthernCPA

      I love my dog, but no.
      Part of the joy of having a dog is coming home to the dog, who is happy to see you, etc. If the dog was around you all day long, I think it would devalue that experience. Plus, people have allergies at work, etc.

    • MidSIZE

      This needs to happen! I may need to go try and work for Ben and Jerry’s!