Businesses in metro Detroit look to pets for employee morale
By Tiffany Esshaki
C & G Staff Writer
For many, a beloved pet is the key to turning a house into a home. These days, though, pets are stepping out beyond the doggy doors and are making their way into businesses of all kinds, much to the delight of employees and customers alike.
On Aug. 3, Level One Bank in Farmington Hills participated in its second annual Dog Days of Summer event to raise money for the Animal Welfare Society of Southeastern Michigan. For a $5 donation, employees were welcome to wear jeans for the day and bring their furry friends into the office for a little workplace companionship.
According to Level One Bank President and CEO Patrick Fehring, inviting dogs into the office for the day is one of many morale-boosting events the bank facilitates for employees each year.
“We tried it last summer and it was a big hit,” said Fehring of the Dog Days of Summer event. “It does cause for a certain amount of interaction. It helps maybe generate a more personal relationship amongst employees who have a common interest in pets. We find that more employee interaction is beneficial, and it’s a unique way of engaging some of your other employees and learn more about them that maybe you didn’t know before.”
Level One Bank isn’t the only business to jump on the doggy-bandwagon. Nationwide, companies large and small are encouraging employees to bring their pets to work or are making room for an “office pet” for everyone to enjoy.
In Rochester, WHOO U R boutique is more than just an upscale resale shop to benefit local charities — it’s also home to Charlie the cat, the resident feline who has been welcoming guests into the store for more than four years.
Lonna Harlow is president of WHOO U R, a nonprofit organization that looks to collect gently used clothing, furniture and home goods to be sold in its boutique shops. Proceeds from the items go to nearby charities, such as Grace Centers of Hope, The Community Housing Network, The Pink Fund and Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeast Michigan.
Harlow said Charlie helps bring a warm and inviting atmosphere to the store.
“Normally, he’s just hanging out somewhere — on a chair or in a basket or something. He’s a little more laid back, not so much of a greeter,” she said. “People get a sense of home when you have an animal in your store. It just kind of cozies up the place. The kids come in looking for Charlie all the time; he’s got quite a reputation, and he’s well known in the area.”
The trend of bringing pets into the workplace is one that will likely continue to gain popularity amongst business owners, according to Terri Mallett of the Michigan Humane Society. As the enrichment program manager for MHS, Mallett knows how valuable it can be to have a little bit of stress relief in the middle of a working day, and four-legged friends can provide just that.
“It’s a huge stress reliever for people. I think it prevents people from taking themselves too seriously,” she said. “But it’s not a free-for-all, because it’s business first.”
Mallett said that allowing employees to bring pets to the office has been shown to bolster productivity in many situations.
She added that allowing animals to come to work can be just as beneficial to pets as it is to humans. Mallett noted that on many occasions, she’ll bring her own dogs into the MSH for a day of work, and the excitement of the day often wears them out.
“When they’re home by themselves, they sleep about 18 hours a day. When I would take them to work, they would be nodding off in the car on the way home. It was so cute,” she said.
“They’re social animals. That’s really what they want, is to be with us. The more opportunity they have to do that, the happier they’re going to be.”
- Last 24 Hours
- Last 7 Days
- Last 30 Days
- Local chefs share trade secrets for creating the perfect holiday cookie - Metro Detroit
- Mount Clemens man accused of sexually assaulting daughters - Mount Clemens
- Parks and Rec confirms ITC won’t work on trail until 2014 - West Bloomfield
- Two suspects on loose after robbing Comerica Bank - Clinton Township
- Special needs program receives $10,000 grant for iPads - Hazel Park
- Ferndale introduces 30-minute free parking zones around city - Ferndale
- Man charged for indecent exposure on Hall Road - Utica
- Lieutenant promoted to Deputy Police Chief - St. Clair Shores
- Woman found dead in Warren home - Warren
- Former Birmingham mayor arrested again on meth charges - Birmingham
- Homeowner shoots at home invasion suspect - Harper Woods
- WWTHS graduate killed in Libya remembered - Warren
- Love surrounds local teacher fighting cancer - Warren
- Community rallies for Shelby boy with brain cancer - Shelby Township
- Shelby boy battles rare form of cancer - Shelby Township
- Lions Thanksgiving halftime show spotlights WLC band, cheer teams - Walled Lake
- Macomb Home Depot creates college scholarship in honor of deceased employee - Macomb Township
- Attorney dies in Harper Avenue crash - St. Clair Shores
- CVHS students to stage production of ‘Hairspray’ - Clinton Township
- Missing woman found dead - West Bloomfield
- Looking Back: Selinsky-Green Farmhouse c. 1898 - St. Clair Shores
- Sterling woman hurt in shooting - Sterling Heights
- Christmas comes to the Shores - St. Clair Shores
- County board considers regional water authority proposal - Macomb County
- Shelby boy battles rare form of cancer
- BHS Orchestra selected to perform at Carnegie Hall
- Lions Thanksgiving halftime show spotlights WLC band, cheer teams
- Macomb Home Depot creates college scholarship in honor of deceased employee
- Child prodigy becomes youngest artist exhibited at Park West Gallery
- All in the family
- Christmas Wonderfest brings holiday wonder to Novi