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Ruff day at work

Ruff day at work

SimplyBuckhead

A pets-at-work policy can lead to happier and more productive employees.

Beth Irwin cuddles up with the unofficial office mascot, Annie. The president of Brown Bag Marketing, Doug Brown recently rescued Annie, and everyone in the office loves her!
Beth Irwin cuddles up with the unofficial office mascot, Annie. The president of Brown Bag Marketing, Doug Brown recently rescued Annie, and everyone in the office loves her!

Handshakes and meetings are what you expect to see in offices. Dogs, however, are not. More and more companies want to give their hardworking employees additional things to make them happy, and pups in the workplace are becoming more common. The top dogs acknowledge this perk alleviates employee stress about leaving pets at home and creates a happier environment. Read on for a few Buckhead companies who have an open-dog policy.

John Haber, the CEO of SME, passes out pats to his pups Bella, a Labrador, and Sadie, a mixed-breed rescue.
John Haber, the CEO of SME, passes out pats to his pups Bella, a Labrador, and Sadie, a mixed-breed rescue.

Spend Management Experts
Consulting service that optimizes shipping, freight and transportation spend
spendmanagementexperts.com

Employees at SME treat their pets like family, so why not bring them to the office? “Dogs return the love and support back to us, so having our dogs in the office creates a therapeutic environment for employees,” notes John Haber, founder and CEO of SME. And the office isn’t the only place they like to spend time with animals. SME is partnered with Atlanta Pet Rescue & Adoption; they sponsor fundraising events and volunteer their time.

Repair Dog
Tech startup with an app that helps businesses with broken equipment locate vendors to fix it.
repair-dog.com

On any given day, six dogs roam Repair Dog’s office. Repair Dog understands the toll leaving your pets at home takes on owners and they know alleviating this puts employees at their best. “Happy employees are more productive,” says Vincent Pirro, partner at Repair Dog.

Bert’s Big Adventure
Nonprofit organization that puts on an annual trip to Walt Disney World for children with chronic and terminal illnesses, and their families.
bertsbigadventure.org

“We used to do our work at my kitchen table!” Molly Darby, executive director of BBA, tells us. As the organization grew, they knew they needed more space. When they moved to the office, so did their dogs. “I believe that the bonds between people and their pets have the power to ease stress,” Darby says. This is clearly a belief her goldendoodle shares with her, as he cries in the car if she doesn’t hold his paw.

Meet Peter Frampton (the Labradoodle, not the rock star), and his mom Molly Darby of Bert’s Big Adventure.
Meet Peter Frampton (the Labradoodle, not the rock star), and his mom Molly Darby of Bert’s Big Adventure.

Brown Bag Marketing
Full-service marketing firm.
brownbagmarketing.com

Despite a bagel-snatching Labrador, employees and clients love having the dogs around the Brown Bag Marketing office to lighten the mood and make everyone feel relaxed. Sara DiMauro, human resources manager of Brown Bag Marketing, explains, “Pets help keep things in perspective and it’s good to be reminded that there are very few things that can’t be made better with a treat or a nap.” We couldn’t agree more.

TOP 5 PERKS OF PETS AT WORK

We asked an expert who knows about being happy at work. Catherine Egenes, LMFT psychotherapist at Brookhaven’s Living Fully Psychotherapy & Consulting, left her public relations career to follow her heart and become a therapist. Now, she helps individuals, couples and families through a variety of struggles. livingfullytherapy.com

1. Positive Hormonal Changes Research shows petting your pet can release hormones that help counteract high stress levels and depression.

2. Exercise Taking your pet for a walk gives you a source of physical exercise. It also gives you short breaks to help reduce stress and increase productivity.

3. Bonding & Socialization Pets are often the center of conversation, bringing people together. Having a pet in the office can create social interactions between employees and clients.

4. Comfort Dogs often understand when humans are sick or having a bad day and are there by your side offering the comfort of a warm paw and a wet nose.

5. Self-Care Being responsible for a pet can help you look after yourself as well. It encourages maintaining a healthy schedule, taking regular breaks and leaving work at a decent hour.

STORY: Candice Rose

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