In the kitchen area, a row of bowls. Under the desks and at the foot of the seats, doggies taking a nap. It is in this rather unusual environment that the ten employees of Tungsten Collaborative work. This Canadian design company, based in Ottawa, Canada, allows its employees to come to the office with their pets. “We encourage people who have animals to bring them,” explains Bill Dicke, president of the company. You develop this relationship with your pet at home and all of a sudden you go back to work, and they have to be caged for the day or wander around the house alone, that’s not fair,” he laments.
“It’s always nice to see that a company has this kind of flexibility”, appreciates Johan Van Hull. During the pandemic, this employee worked from home with Daisy, a Labrador with a blond coat. The new rule was “a key factor” in his decision to take a job with Tungsten last year. The health crisis could well make companies think about the presence of animals at work when 200,000 Canadians adopted a cat or a dog during this period. According to a recent Léger poll conducted for PetSafe, one in two Canadians (51%) supports the idea of bringing their dog to the office. This proposal is particularly appreciated by the youngest: 18% of employees aged 18 to 24 say that they would change company if their employer refused them this option. “It was easier for me, I guess if I couldn’t do that I was planning to go home every lunchtime until he (his dog, editor’s note) got used to his new environment” , explains Trevor Watt, employee of the construction company Chandos Bird which also authorizes its employees to come with their doggie.
But while petting and strolling are popular with employees, body hair, barking and allergies can present a daunting challenge. Samson stays on a leash when Trevor Watt’s colleague, terrified of dogs, is around. In France too, it is possible to take your dog to work in certain companies but the practice is still developing timidly.