Not long ago I read a piece that said Nestle Purina Company allows its employees to bring their dogs to work. When I think of bringing my pets to work the first thing that comes to mind is “that could be a disaster” in an office setting. Now I don’t know about you but if I took either one of my dogs (especially Buddy, my yellow lab) I wouldn’t be able to do jack! But then in reality and since I work mainly from my home office, I do bring them to work and they are constantly bugging me to eat, play, or go outside to potty!
I see the premise behind this but can’t see it working in the real world! The premise of course being “providing one measure in offering a better work-life balance for its employees.” Dude! What a beautiful thing. But is balance the right word for this? Is there even such thing as work-life-balance? I know my friend Cali Yost would tell you its more about work-life-fit. She is dedicated to empowering individuals to strategically manage the way work “fits” into their lives–because as she says “It’s fit, not balance and helping organizations create strong work+life fit partnerships with their employees is crucial.”
So What Is Nestle Purina Up To?
The maker of dog and cat food – Nestle Purina Petcare Company, has 9,850 employees globally, most of them in St. Louis, where the company’s based. And yes, they’re hiring; a spokeswoman says the company has openings for marketers, copywriters, accountants, engineers, sales representatives, paralegals, and more. But before you apply, make sure you’ll fit in with a furry-friend-loving culture. “Bringing pets to work is a major plus,” one employee wrote on Glassdoor.com regarding this issue. “Pets on the work floor make everyone happier.” (Is this realistic? I think my dog Marley would totally bite someone if they came by her “desk” while she was taking her nap).
Indeed, work-life balance is about more than reputation or keeping employees happy; it’s mainly about retention. Offering flexible scheduling is the most effective way of improving employee retention rates, says Dick Finnegan, a former human-resources director and CEO of C-Suite Analytics, which helps companies decrease employee turnover saying -
“The more liberal companies can be with letting people pick their own schedule times, letting them work from home, letting them–especially people who travel a lot–have no established schedules, letting people leverage technology to work from anywhere–the more companies aggressively offer those things, the higher their retention.”
If your company doesn’t offer flexible policies, perhaps you should look to your direct boss to help you figure out a way to create a comfortable balance for your employees between their work and personal lives.
So what’s your opinion? Is this just a fad or is this the new way of figuring out how to jump through hoops and the “out of the box” thinking that is required in this new millennium and with the new demographic changes we are facing?
This post was from the archives published HERE in 2011.