Pet-friendly Workplaces FTW

Written by Celeste A. Barron November 12, 2020

Our forward-thinking corporate culture is something we take pride in at Shift3 Technologies. In one of our previous posts, we breakdown some of the perks of working for a company that celebrates its humans on a near-daily basis. Our leadership truly goes the extra mile to make sure that we’re paying attention to our mental wellness so that we are productive, effective team members. This holistic approach includes the ability to bring our pets to work. (From cats and dogs to fish and birds—we’ve seen it all. And we love it.)

And though we’ve spent a large chunk of this year quarantined at home to keep ourselves safe, we know that the day we go back to our office building there will be ample furry friends there to help us assimilate back to in-person working dynamics again. And frankly, we can’t wait. Having a pet-friendly workplace creates an extraordinary atmosphere.

Proof is In the Pawdding

Before our company was founded back in 2013, tech companies all over Silicon Valley were already beginning to bring their pets to work. And it’s now growing in popularity. Companies like Airbnb, Nestle Petcare, Petsmart and Amazon have not only weaved intra-office pet policies into their office culture, they’re each on the list of the top 10 Most Dog-friendly Companies for 2019. And truly, it’s no wonder why they’ve embraced the pet-friendly culture. 

A study conducted by Virginia Commonwealth University found that bringing pets into the workplace acts as a de-stress tool AND boosts productivity. Just ask any of our team members; they’ll vouch that having a puppy in a meeting or a kitten sleeping under their desk actually does calm you. (And sometimes work can be stressful!) 

There was also a study done at a North Carolina company that measured Cortisol levels in saliva samples taken from their employees. (Cortisol is a hormone that measures a person’s stress.) Seventy-six of the company’s employees participated in that study and were broken down into three groups: 18 dog owners who brought their dogs to the office each day, 38 employees that owned dogs but did not bring them to the office, and 19 employees that didn’t own pets. 

At the beginning of the day, all of the study participants had a saliva sample taken to determine baseline levels of Cortisol. There were no noticeable differences in starting stress levels across all employees. As the work day wore on, testing found noticeable differences between the stress levels of those with and without dogs by their side.

Each group reported their stress level at four different times throughout the day and found that the workers accompanied by their dogs reported the lowest amount of stress at all points in the workday. The most stressed-out group turned out to be dog owners that left their pets at home.

To be honest, we don’t need studies to tell us that our furry friends bring us comfort—but having numbers to back up our heartstrings is nice.

Well, Well, Wellness

As we’ve said previously, our company is built on humans. We are our greatest commodity. In order for us to build kick-ass custom software, we have to be well. That’s why our leadership and HR team take great care in making sure we have access to comprehensive benefits and mental health resources. We even have such perks like on-site meditation rooms for a few minutes of quiet. Built into our wellness policy is our pet policy. They’ve literally written puppy dogs and rainbows into our employee handbook. 

The mental wellness of each employee is paramount to having a company that functions at high levels of awesome. Take for example Q4 of 2020. Our leadership implemented a policy where, just for the last quarter of this wacky year, we’re unilaterally cutting down our work hours by 40%. Why? Because not only have we pivoted to working from home (Challenge #1), we’re also having to experience living through a pandemic (Challenge #2). Some of us have had to see family members succumb to COVID-19 (Challenge #3) or family members be displaced to due to loss of employment caused by the recession (Challenge #4). I won’t go on because this is bringing me down, but you get my point. In order for us to grab 2021 by the horns, our company is making sure that we get through the rest of 2020 with both feet on the ground and smiles on our faces. 

TL;DR, our company cares about its team. And if need be, they’ll shower us in puppies and kittens to make sure we are well.

Pupular Pet Perks

Sometimes it feels as if calling our company “pet friendly” is an understatement. Our leadership truly cares for the welfare and well-being of all animals (even if they’re strays). 

Our headquarters is located in downtown Fresno, which sometimes sees many stray animals. And some people may be ambivalent about taking them home or finding them a forever home—however, our team members are not. In fact, we now have an office policy called “Bruce’s Policy,” (named after our CEOs doggie and Head Pup in Charge). And those who find a stray puppy or kitten and want to foster or adopt it, our company will pay all the fees surrounding grooming, spay/neuter, chipping, and first medical examination just to make sure something like cost doesn’t get in the way of finding the perfect home for a cuddly stray friend. 

And as our company grows and expands to new locations, such accoutrements like dog parks are being worked into those building specifications, so the pets we bring to work will have a safe place to frolic right where we work. 

BUT WAIT, there’s more! Included in our overall benefits is an option to get pet insurance. THAT’S RIGHT, insurance for our beloved fur babies. This is certainly not a perk you find in many workplace benefit packages. That … is how much our workplace embraces the presence of furry friends. 

And that … is how much our leadership cares about the humans that walk through those doors every day. (Or walks through those virtual Zoom doors for now.)

Doesn’t This Sound Like the Purrrfect Workplace?

We really enjoy our company and its many perks that focus on our holistic health and wellness in and outside of our workplace (even during quarantine). It’s certainly true that happy people build amazing software. Want to know more about our corporate culture or our technical chops in custom software? Schedule a call to talk with one of our humans with this link.

This post was written by Celeste A. Barron, Content Development Manager for Shift3 Technologies. You’ll find her spooning with her dog, while her three cats look on with indifference. 

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