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My Best Friend at Work

Posted on October 27, 2015 by Don MacPherson.

I have a best friend at work. That is the most disparaged survey item my industry has to offer. Gallup asks just 12 questions on their employee engagement survey and that is one of them. I’d be lying if I said I never bashed Gallup for asking this question on their survey. Being connected assists loyalty and having a friend at work makes us feel connected. I get that. What I don’t get is what the manager or organization is supposed to do about it if employees don’t have friends at work. They aren’t going to force you to make friends and they probably aren’t going to hire your poker buddy who is unqualified to work with you.

It turns out that there is something that the organization can do to make sure people have a best friend at work. In fact, we have been doing it at Modern Survey for years. You see, Modern Survey is a dog-friendly workplace and I bring my “best friends” to work as often as I can. If I am not traveling or if I don’t have an important client meeting, Pollux and Janie join me for some office time.

I can say without hesitation that I have never had a bad day when one or both of them join me in the office. It turns out that Modern Survey isn’t alone. According to Fast Company, about 20% of the U.S. companies are pet-friendly.

When they are there I am more relaxed and able to deal with adversity. Science supports this too. A study by Virginia Commonwealth University found that people who brought dogs to work experienced lower levels of stress than people without them. When there is bad news or a challenge, a diversion from one of the pooches is a good way to get past it.

So what should we do about it? It’s a good question. Modern Survey is in the business of making work a great place to spend our time. So we have created a company holiday that we feel does just that. It’s called the “Best Friend @ Work Day.”

We tried it for the first time recently. We encouraged people to bring their dog to work. It was a bit chaotic at times, but ask any of the pet owners who participated and they are likely to tell you it was one of their best days at work lately. It was a lot of fun spending the day with our best friends and they got a chance to meet some new best friends too.

Check out this video that documents the fun…

Do you have a dog friendly office? If so, we’d love to know what it means to you to be able to bring your best friend to work…and please feel free to send a picture and a caption to ask@modernsurvey.com.

6 responses to “My Best Friend at Work”

  1. David Zinger says:

    I knew Modern Survey had gone to the dogs…in the best of all possible ways! Well done or should I say “whoof, whoof.”

  2. Rebecca Best says:

    This is just awesome. Doesn’t cost a dime, but is truly a priceless way for employers to show their human and caring side!

  3. Janine says:

    Really miss not having dogs in the office (medical out-patient clinic and ASC facility. Previous employer allowed dogs (until owners weren’t taking care of them throughout the day). Loved knowing that I had instant pet therapy when needed.

  4. Colleen K says:

    That is awesome! What a great testament to the culture you are building.

  5. Nancy Uden says:

    Curious how you deal with employees that don’t want dogs in the office and employees with dog allergies?

    • Don MacPherson Don MacPherson says:

      It’s important to understand the different preferences people have and their tolerance levels around dogs. You shouldn’t do anything that is going to make anyone uncomfortable. We have defaulted to trusting people to make good decisions and communicate their preferences. They haven’t let us down yet.

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