Pet Friendly Work Place Helps Make Work Fun

By Heather Hubbs, Reporter

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- More and more businesses across the nation are allowing employees to bring their pets to work in an effort to boost morale.

A survey of pet owners by the American Pet Products Association found that in 2012, three percent of dog owners were allowed to bring their dog to work -- about 1.4 million dog owners. While that figure is rather low, it's still three times higher than it was just five years ago.

It's not just big companies like Google and Amazon who are leading this trend. In Cedar Rapids, Geonetrics, a software company, has been letting pets get their paws in the door for about five years now.

Seamus, Max, and Tu are just a few of the top dogs around the office at Geonetrics.

"They're almost like pseudo-employees, because some are here so frequently," said Human Resources Manager Ann Ohrt.

Joe Olerich has been bringing his dog Max to the office with him ever since he was a puppy.

"It started out as a convenience thing," Olerich said. "I lived in an apartment and it was nice to bring him in so he wasn't going bonkers when he got home."

Having Max around helps keep Joe from going bonkers as well.

"I can take a five minute break and play with him and feel re-energized and go for lunch time walks. It helps break up the day," he said.

Ben Dillon agreed, saying being able to bring his new dog Tut to work with him helps lower stress because he's not worrying about him being locked up in the house alone all day.

"It's made life easier, easier to juggle having a dog and having him here and work and being fully present. It's just nice to have him around sometimes," Dillon said.

On any given day, you can find one or two pups wagging their way through the halls, popping in to say hi to their two-legged friends.

"I think having the dogs around in general is great for morale. I think people are calmer. Gives us fun breaks during the day," said Dillon

While in some offices "fun" is a nasty three letter word that equals distraction, at Geonetric, it's encouraged.

"It's important to get people out of their desks, meeting each other and having fun with each other," said Ohrt.

Which is why they don't mind that their office has gone to the dogs.
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