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Bring your dog to work (every) day

Why your employee experience should make work feel like home.

If you know Ingenuity, you probably know Owen. And if you don’t, well, that’s just bad luck for you. Owen is a six-year old Goldendoodle and a very good boy. And Owen is at the Ingenuity office every single day. He listens in on meetings, he steals our chairs and he sits guard at our front door.

Dog-friendly offices like ours are everywhere these days. At companies like Google, Salesforce, Etsy and Amazon, pets have become a part of the culture. And dogs in the office have been found to benefit recruiting (Owen sits in on interviews), grow social connections, improve morale and even reduce stress (Owen breaks are real and they’re glorious).

That’s all no surprise, of course, because years of scientific research by yours truly has shown that dogs are cute and fun. But, what do dogs in the office really say about a business?

To us, dogs establish an entirely new level of trust between an employee and an employer. A trust that invites a piece of an employee’s home—of their life—into a shared workspace. Sure, dogs make people laugh and smile and feel comfortable. But, really, they provide a feeling of the acceptance that comes when work life mimics home life.

So how else can a business bring this feeling to employees in order to improve recruiting and retention, communication and morale? Think about what people experience at home: honest and transparent communication, flexible environments and comfortable surroundings, personalized everything.

It all sounds so simple, right? But many companies have forever drawn a hard line focusing on productivity, product and profit over humanity and connections, without realizing that they’re all inherently linked.

So back to Owen. He’s here every day, reminding us that, sure, this is a place to create amazing things for our clients, but also a place to do what we love with people we trust. A place we like coming to when we leave home.