At one Nestlé office, the company is experimenting with allowing employees to bring their canine friends to work. Project boss, Simone Gravante, said “We can see that dogs make office life better.”
At the Swiss food giant’s office in La Tour-de-Peilz, near Vevey in Switzerland, staff can come to work with their dogs. Around 15 dog owners have taken up the opportunity, bringing dogs ranging in size from those as small as chihuahuas to those as large as great danes.
While small companies often allow dogs at work, the practice is rare among large global ones. Nestlé is experimenting with the idea at an office of Purina, a pet food brand owned by the group, and has plans to expand the practice to other sites in Switzerland and abroad.
One happy employee said “The option to bring my pet with me not only helps me organise my day, but strengthens my relationship with my dog.”
The company benefits too. Recent studies show the presence of animals in offices reduces general stress levels, increases loyalty and improves team work. “Everything works really well” says one employee without a dog, “with dogs the atmosphere is more fun and relaxed, and people are more open.”
Contact with animals is known to have health benefits such as lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart attacks.
“Dogs are social animals, not toys. The worst thing you can do is leave them alone. Our aim is to respond to their needs.” said Sandra Bruckner.
Those wishing to bring their dog must show that their four-legged friend is vaccinated, chipped, covered by insurance, and most importantly, trained. Dogs are tested inside and outside the building to make sure the animal is well socialized and comfortable around people, including strangers.
If everything goes well, the dog gets to wear a device that opens doors within a specified zone on the ground floor. To avoid fights with other dogs, no eating is allowed inside the building.
Since the experiment started a few weeks ago all has gone well.
No cats were interviewed.