Startups are known for their perks. But even with flexible work hours and wide-open vacation policies, awesome amenities in the office and professional development stipends, one perk rules them all: the dog-friendly office environment.
And Austin tech loves its furry office buddies. Cuteness aside, local tech companies shared a few of the sundry benefits to inviting pups on site, including cross-departmental team building and an increase in work productivity. Here's why these five startups chose to embrace pooches at work.
Vyopta encourages regular feedback from their employees to improve company culture, and having dogs in the office was a unanimous request. Although some negotiation with building management was required, the team was able to get the policy approved. According to Vyopta's content marketing manager Katey Ferenzi, it's been well worth it.
"Inviting dogs into our workspace is by far one of our most popular perks among our staff. Plus, since this policy’s implementation, we've noticed that cross-departmental relationships have become even stronger," she said. "Not only does each dog brighten your day, but it encourages staff to swing by and say, ‘hi.’ This leads to more collaboration, more relationship building, and often turns into a quick walk on the greenbelt. It's been great for morale overall. We couldn't be happier, and the dogs definitely seem to love it."
Although Square Root opens up its bring-your-pooch-to-work option to everyone, one four-legged friend makes a regularly scheduled appearance.
"We believe the best work is done when everyone is happy and comfortable in our environment. Part of what makes Square Root a happy place is having everyone’s fur babies in the office so often. Come by anytime to meet our 'Dogveloper,' a Corgi named Toffee!”
uShip has nearly 50 employees who bring their dog to work regularly — and even have its own Instagram handle dedicated to the startup's dogs. Angie Meier, uShip's senior manager of talent acquisition, filled us in on why they went with the policy.
"We prioritize the mental health and well-being of our employees, and it’s been proven in many studies that having our furry friends around is a real stress reliever. It’s very therapeutic to have the pups in office…there’s nothing better than having a tough day and then being able to relieve some stress by way of puppy love!
"It’s also a great motivator for employees to step away from their desks and take the dogs out throughout the day, thus breaking up our tendency to sit and stare at our screens all day," she added. "In general, it’s simply a great morale booster, and gives our dog-owning employees peace of mind knowing they don’t have to deal with the guilt of leaving their fur babies at home alone. It’s a win-win for both the employees and the dogs, and that’s what we care about."
Boundless's "Dirty 6th" office has many perks, in addition to being located on Austin's most popular partying street. With gym membership discounts and plenty of volunteer opportunities, the team also rolled out a dog-friendly office to further develop a lively work environment. The marketing team shared more about the perk's benefits.
"At Boundless, we love our employees and our employees love their furry family members! Having a dog-friendly office is just one of the many ways we are inclusive and provide an office setting that people enjoy working in. After all, 'embracing the fun,' is an integral part of our culture!”
Adlucent's office on South Congress also implemented a dog-friendly perk. Paige DeLeon, the company's people and culture generalist, mentioned that having dogs in the office is less of a distraction than one might think.
"Supporting a dog-friendly office is more than an employee perk. There's a science to it! We've learned spending time with dogs can increase both productivity and workplace happiness. After all, who doesn’t want a healthier workforce (and daily pooch kisses, to boot)? We also support local animal welfare causes through volunteerism and philanthropic efforts."