Humans at Amazon in Seattle, USA now share their office space with 7,000 pooches thanks to one legendary Welsh Corgi named Rufus who paved the way for future floofs back in 1998.
Although he sadly passed away in 2009, his legacy lives on at Amazon’s HQ. There is a building named after him and his adorable face can be seen in pictures across the 8.1 million square foot campus.
More and more employees are taking advantage of the company’s pet-friendly policy. Over 7,000 dogs are registered to come to work at its Seattle headquarters. That’s up from 6,000 a year ago. And – believe it or not – they don’t work like dogs at the corporate retailer.
They don’t have job descriptions, thousands of emails and endless meetings. Their only responsibility is to be open to receiving tasty treats and belly rubs. The dogs also receive other awesome incentives like free lunches, access to water stations and a leash-free dog park where they can chase tail and sniff some butt.
Although the dogs are free to explore their surroundings and don’t have the responsibilities of a working man, they too have a manager. They report to Lara Hirschfield, Amazon’s “Woof Pack” Manager. “Dogs in the workplace is an unexpected mechanism for connection,” says Hirschfield. “I see Amazonians meeting each other in our lobbies or elevators every day because of their dogs.”
She may have a point. A Central Michigan University study recently found that the presence of a dog in a group office setting encouraged workers to be more cooperative, communicative and friendlier than in groups where there was no dog.
Pets at work also reduce the stress levels of employees by lowering blood pressure and improving cardiovascular health through regular petting. Pets can release endorphins in humans and make the work environment a happier and more productive place.
Slowly, more and more companies are allowing dogs in the office, although that number is still fairly small. The Society for Human Resources reports that 7 percent of employers in the USA allow pets in the workplace, up from 4 percent in 2014.
Would you like to take your barking buddy to work? Must be nice to have your best friend at your side 24/7. Try to convince your boss but remember always do what’s best for your dog. Be a responsible pet parent!