It all started back in 5th grade when I wanted to be an astronaut. Not just a little kid thinking it would be cool, but a space-obsessed 11-year-old who had printed cut-outs of the Apollo mission patches on my bedroom walls and “Fat Head”-esque stickers of the space shuttle, the...
DOGS AT WORK – FIVE YEAR ANNIVERSARY
It is hard to believe that AFB International’s global headquarters first welcomed dogs into the workplace five years ago. The success of this program has far outweighed the time, energy, and research it took to get started.
Dogs At Work was prompted by interest from AFB employees. They understood the intrinsic value of dogs in the office and had
experienced similar programs at other companies in our industry. Initially some hurdles seemed daunting, but the project plan was worked, concerns were addressed, and a program was created. The next steps were review of employees’ dogs by the Dogs At Work committee, and employee training of their own dogs on proper in-office behavior so they could ultimately be welcomed in the building. (Check out our blog for our learnings on creating a policy and committee and preparing for the transition.)
The committee and executive team realized that respect for employees and the building had to remain high priority. Our training program was designed to keep the office clean and presentable as well as to be respectful of fellow employees’ work environments. Parts of the building were designated as off-limits to dogs, and specific outside areas were designated as dog relief areas.
During the pandemic, we put the program on hold for the safety of our employees, but we happily welcomed dogs back in August 2021. Everyone was overjoyed to have our canine co-workers back, and many new employees enjoyed bringing their dog to work for the first time.
Global Customer Service Representative Brandon Hammonds says, “I joined AFB during the pandemic. I did not know I would like the idea of bringing Apollo to work with me – but as soon as I was able, I loved it! He likes it too. We get to spend time together – time I was spending at home with him during the pandemic. Now I work a hybrid schedule and bring him in on the days I am in the office. I am so thankful to work for a company that values work-life integration.”
Dogs At Work has truly been a successful initiative for us. We thank all our employees, human and furry, for continuing to make this fun and safe. Here’s to another five years!