There’s a new employee work benefit started recently by a company in Minneapolis designed specially to cater for new dog owners, they’re calling it ‘fur-ternity leave’. Nina Hale, a marketing company in the city introduced the benefit to allow employees with new pets to work from home.
It all started when one of their senior account managers, Connor McCarthy adopted a Goldendoodle called Bentley. Connor asked his manager if he could make some adjustments to his work schedule to allow him to be at home with his new pup as much as possible while Bentley adjusted to his new surroundings.
After quickly approving his work request, the leadership team at the company realized that dog lovers view their pets as important to them as human babies. Connor’s boss, Allison McMenimen (the executive vice president for Client Services) told MPR News; "We had received these requests a couple of times, and we thought, for so many of our hardworking, dedicated employees, there's an opportunity for us to reciprocate their dedication and give them additional flexibility when they're making a major life change. And in this case, instead of a human baby, it's a fur baby."
A few months later “fur-ternity leave” was unveiled as part of the official company benefits package. There’s a growing trend among many companies today where pet insurance, ‘dog-friendly workplaces’ and ‘Take Your Pet to Word Days’ are offered to employees as work benefits and perks. These are all part of a growing recognition among employers of the important role dogs play in employees lives. For Nina Hale, it’s a simple equation, happy, healthy employees are more productive.
Scientific studies have shown that dog owners lead more active lives, live longer, suffer lower levels of loneliness than humans who don’t own dogs. So, it’s no surprise to see continuing employee benefit innovations take place.
According to Connor, Bentley really benefited from the “fur-ternity leave”, he had time to adjust to his new home and spend lots of quality time with his owner. A win-win for everyone, company, employee and most importantly the dog!
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