While teleworking has accustomed employees to the presence of their pets, welcoming them to the workplace remains a confidential practice in France, although much appreciated.
“My children have grown up, but my partner and I are still active: our dog therefore finds himself on his own from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.“. Like Jacques *, many employees would like not to have to separate from their pets when they go to work, wish that confinements and teleworking have further intensified.
Thus 53% of dog and / or cat owners believe that “companies should be more accepting of the presence of pets at work», According to an Odoxa-Purina study, published at the end of June. If the reception of animals in the office is still a confidential practice in France, many companies are thinking about it, and some have already taken the plunge.
For example, since June 25, an experiment has seen the light of day at the town hall of Grenoble. Henceforth, five municipal employees proudly walk their dog in the corridors of the Town Hall. For the moment, the operation is a success according to Sandra Krief, municipal councilor at the initiative of the project and delegate for the animal condition of the Isère metropolis. “The first feedbacks are encouraging, there is real competition, she explains. We recently had new requests.“
If the experiment proves successful, however, not everyone will be able to obtain the privilege of working alongside their pet. “Authorization is only given to agents who do not welcome the public and at present, only the first floor of the town hall is concerned.»Says Sandra Krief.
A precise protocol
To maintain a suitable working atmosphere, a specific protocol is often followed. Marie-Dominique Gruss, communications director at Royal Canin – and owner of a Jack Russel – details the rules to which the masters and mistresses of the 30 to 40 dogs who come to the head office each day must comply.
The first step is to consult with colleagues to ensure that none are allergic or phobic. “We went before the various company social committees», Recalls the director. During this consultation, the staff were able to list “places [qui] are prohibited like the factory or the catering areas“Or define some obligations such as wearing the”open-space leash“.
A vaccine “kennel cough“Is also required for each dog which will also have to pass to”behavioral control“:”trainers and educators take an education test to find out if the dog responds to the recall, if it supports the presence of other dogs, etc …“
Despite all these precautions, “no one is safe from the dog urinating in the hall of the Town Hall“, Admits an elected representative of the city of Grenoble, to whom this kind of accident has never happened before. “My bitch is old, but still well disciplinedHe said confidently. For her part, Sandra Krief also had to face “a few reluctance“; of city employees asked themselves: “if we accept dogs, why can’t we come with our babies?“.
Numerous benefits, according to the companies
Of course, these protocols can be complicated to set up, but this difficulty is largely offset by the presence of pets in the workplace, according to the employees concerned. Séverine, purchasing director of Néréides, a jewelry design company based in Paris, owns an 8 month old cocker spaniel. “I used to spend my day in the office, never going out, she remembers. With my dog I go out three times a day and I discovered places that I did not know in the neighborhood.“Séverine also sees it as a way of”create link“, From”break down some barriers between teams“And to rebalance the”reporting relationships“.
Noélie Balez, co-founder of Pampa, a Paris-based flower delivery company, also testifies to the pleasure she had to be able to count on her dogs at a very special time. “When I was pregnant I was bedridden on the couch [qui se trouve dans les locaux NDLR.] with my computer on my knees, and the two dogs calmly watched over me. I was really attached to them», She remembers. An affection that the employees of Pampa have returned to canines. “Rather than kill your health by smoking cigarettes at the break, they came cuddle dogs»Laughs Noélie Balez.
An asset for recruiting
The reputation of brands benefits at a lower cost from this possibility of bringing their pet to the office. “When we want to recruit the right people, some have very strong persuasive means with nurseries, RTT, holiday vouchers, etc …, continues Séverine at Néréides. We are a young company and we do not have these means, so it’s an easy way to attract some talent“. The young woman, who says she was “perfume from the first job interview“Confirms that this advantage was”a plus to integrate society“.
The overwhelming majority of animals accepted in the workplace today are dogs. “It is difficult to bring dogs and cats together, and the latter does not support travel well“, We justify at Purina, which welcomes about fifteen dogs in its premises in Issy-les-Moulineaux. “The cat is more independent, more autonomous“, Considers for his part Marie.
At All Pixels Studio on the other hand, “the cat has become the mascot», Reports Fabrice Peltier, the co-founder of this company based in Annecy. Despite “a few scratches on the armchairs»The feline is now part of the decor. Every morning he “made his turn»Purring to claim his salary: a few well-deserved caresses, in the middle of the open space.
* The first name has been changed.