Dogs@work named Ben & Jerry’s as a 2018 recipient of The DOG Award. “Ben & Jerry’s has beautifully established the dog as a valuable addition to its corporate culture,” says Debbie Black, Director of Dogs@work. “Since 2000, Ben & Jerry’s has been at the forefront of integrating their furry friends into their human culture.”
Dogs@work is an animal advocacy group that encourages positive awareness of dogs in corporate culture. Research shows that 1 in 10 companies support dogs in the workplace. 37% of dog owners would sacrifice vacation time or a pay raise to be able to bring their dog to work. 44% of dog lovers would consider a career move for a pet-friendly workplace. In the OnePoll study of 2018, 97% of HR decision makers believe that employee happiness is a key component in productivity.
Ben & Jerry’s even has a name for their dogs who join their humans at work. The dogs are the “K9–5ers”.
“Here at Ben & Jerry’s, we love our dogs almost as much as we love our ice cream (okay, maybe the same amount). That’s why we are proud to have dog-friendly offices, where we welcome our “K9–5ers” to join their humans at work each day,” says the company.
“Members of the K9 crew start their day with a pup-friendly treat at the reception desk, and enjoy plenty of pets, cuddles, and walks throughout the day.” The company adds. “ It’s a “ruff” life for this pack of K9 pals, to be sure. But as any Ben & Jerry’s-er will tell you, having their furry friend by their side during the day makes all this hard ice cream work all the sweeter.”
During the “dog days of summer”, Dogs@work is announcing ten American companies in their inaugural class of 2018 recipients of The DOG Award. “Studies have shown a tremendous contribution from dogs at the office,” says Thom Black, a Director at Dogs@work. “In the office, dogs increase morale, de-stress the environs, facilitate meaningful communication, and increase productivity. One in ten companies in America include dogs in their workplace design. It’s time for other companies to look at Ben & Jerry’s and observe what they are doing with their own canine policy.”
In 2000, a Ben & Jerry’s designer, Lisa Wernhoff and a volunteer group — people with and without dogs — created the official company pet policy. “It spelled out the need to respect people who are scared of dogs or are allergic,” says Wernhoff. “No dogs in any conference room, lunch room, or bathrooms; no dogs hanging outside your little cubicle, in the aisles, or public spaces. It spelled out where dogs could go potty. We didn’t want people complaining, and tried to head off any problems.”
“A surprising number and variety of businesses now recognize the added value of allowing dogs in the workplace, and not just on the annual Take Your Dog to Work day,” says Julia Lane of Bark Magazine. “Increasingly, what started out as occasional canine visits have grown into standard practice in offices around the country.
“Likewise, official pet policies are now part of many employee handbooks; the rules not only address proper pooch-related etiquette and behavior, they also provide non-dog people with assurance that their needs are taken into consideration. But a document weighed down in legalese doesn’t explain the amazing transformation that can happen to a company and its people when dogs are welcomed. People who perhaps would never have met or spoken to one another are drawn to the dog in the cubicle or out in the parking lot. A shy person feels free to greet the dog and kneel down beside her for a friendly lick. A fearful person bravely reaches out a hand for the dog to smell, and delights in her cold nose.”
The Latin phrase, A bonis ad meliora, embedded in the gold circle of The DOG Award means from good to better. “Vermont’s ice cream company, Ben & Jerry’s has made its good company better by including their employees’ dogs at its campus,” says David Paul Kirkpatrick, a director at Dogs@work, and the former President of Paramount Pictures and the former President of Walt Disney Pictures. “Dogs make for better companies, and a better world. By bringing dogs into the peoplescape, Ben & Jerry’s walk their talk of ‘Peace, love, and ice cream’.”
Ben & Jerry’s is an American company that manufactures ice cream, frozen yogurt, and sorbet. It was founded in 1978 in Burlington, Vermont by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield. Today, it operates globally as a fully owned subsidiary of the Anglo-Dutch conglomerate, Unilever. Its present-day headquarters remain in South Burlington, Vermont. Jostein Solheim is the CEO.
In the second week of October, 2018, The DOG Award will be presented to Ben & Jerry’s at their offices in Vermont. “It’s exciting for us to be presenting this award to Ben & Jerry’s where both dogs and their humans will be in attendance,” says Kirkpatrick.
For more information on joining the growing Dogs@work Nation, please visit the Dogs@work webpage.