Dogs used to be seen as work animals. They helped on the farm, protected the house, and were trained as service dogs. That’s not how canines are seen anymore. Now, pet parents look at their dogs as furry children. They sleep on furniture, eat special foods, have more accessories than many adults, and some dogs even go to work with their owners.
WeWork is a tech company that rents out office space to startups, artists, freelancers, and small businesses in 15 cities around the world. Capri Coury, community manager at WeWork in the Fort Point neighborhood of Boston, MA, says that the company understands that dogs add a unique component to people’s lives and that they boost morale, happiness, and productivity in the work place. There are over 30 dogs registered at the South Boston building.
There are 900 employees on 5 floors working for over 250 companies. Some of the companies are only 1 or 2 person operations. WeWork tenants, who are called “members”, can rent space ranging from private offices to communal table space. There are also common areas on all floors with kitchen facilities.
The setup of the building is actually ideal for dogs. The cement floors make for easy cleanup and help members with allergies because they don’t trap the odors, dander, and dog hair like carpeting would. Every owner that wants to bring their dog must register their pet and sign a contract stating that their canine is up to date on all shots and will have good office manners.
Coury says that WeWork ensures that members are responsible for their dogs. She also says there have been no complaints from other non-pet owning members because they are told up front that dogs are allowed in the office space and that they must be accepting of a dog-friendly work environment.
Many of the members at the WeWork office chose that space specifically because it is dog-friendly. Pet owners enjoy bringing their dogs to work, and people that love dogs but cannot own them for one reason or another love to be able to visit dogs when they go to work.
The pet owners that bring their dogs with them say their dogs thoroughly enjoy the socialization and attention that they get while in the building. The alternative would be to have them stuck at home alone all day or the owners would have to pay for some type of doggy daycare for them during the work week. Being able to bring their canine companions to the office has turned out to be a great situation for everyone in the WeWork building.