Ruff Day At Work? Not At Amazon! Amazon Australia Welcomes Dogs Into The Workplace!
Friday 13 May, Australia - Labradors, Poodles, French Bulldogs and King Charles Cavaliers – they are furry and friendly, and the latest addition to Amazon Australia’s workplace as the company introduces its Dogs at Work (DAW) program at its Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Perth offices.
Independent research commissioned by Amazon Australia found almost a quarter (23%) of Australians welcomed a dog into their family during the pandemic, with seven out of ten (71%) dog owners who work saying they would love to be able to take their pup to work.
Dogs have been a popular feature in Amazon’s global offices for many years with more than 8,000 Amazon dogs currently registered in the DAW program. With dogs in the workplace shown to lower stress levels, increase interactions and boost morale, the Australian team was excited to introduce its pooch-friendly policy to Australia as employees started returning to the office.
Senior Human Resources Business Partner Laura Nemaz said the DAW program is already proving a massive hit with employees, whose cute canine companions are joining the ranks in increasing numbers.
“We love dogs at Amazon, and are thrilled to see our team embrace this new perk – both the ones with dogs and the ones who (like me) don’t have one but wish they did. Dogs add to our dynamic and collaborative workplace and we’ve found they are an unexpected mechanism for connection. It’s great to walk through the office, give the dogs a pat and have a chat with people I might not otherwise speak to regularly.”
Following a period where working from home (alongside pets/kids/partners) was the only option for office workers, it comes as no surprise that for almost two thirds (64%) of Australian workers, a dog-friendly workplace would make a job more attractive to them.
The survey also found that one in two dog owners who work (57%) agree that they feel anxious when they leave their dog at home alone, and more than half (57%) think their dog will struggle to adjust when they start going back into the office. Several studies have also demonstrated the positive impacts that dogs in the workplace offer, including research by the Virginia Commonwealth University, which found that dogs may reduce stress levels and make work more satisfying for employees.
When Amazon announced its ‘Dogs at Work’ program in Sydney, King Charles Cavalier owner Laura Pardal, General Manager and Category Leader, Consumables jumped at the chance to bring her best friend to work. “I love being able to bring Kevin to work and he’s much happier spending less time alone. What’s surprised me the most is how great it has been for meeting people from all over the business. There are so many people who I’ve now gotten to know because they stop past my desk to say hello to Kevin and scratch his belly.”
Gerry Gimenez, Senior Category Merchant Manager said, “After working from home for 1.5 years and constantly being around my dog, I really didn’t want to start leaving him home alone all day. The DAW program works really well for me, and has helped with peace of mind in the office as I can get on with my work without worrying about what my pup is up to at home.”
The most popular dog breeds among Amazon Australia employees are Labradors and King Charles Cavaliers. Other breeds that have already been registered to the program include Miniature Schnauzers, Dachshunds, Vizslas, Border Collies, French Bulldogs, Samoyeds, and Boston Terriers.
In order to participate in this workplace benefit, dogs must be registered, with employees providing the dog’s name and breed, vaccination certificate, registration form, microchip, confirm that their dogs are friendly with other dogs and people as well as signed confirmation from their office neighbours that they are happy to have a pooch in their pod. Dogs access the building via a designated lift from the loading dock so as not to impact other tenants in the building and respect those who prefer not to be up close and personal with dogs. Once approved to join DAW employees receive a ‘Woof Pack’ for their pooch, including a branded bag, a doggy mat for them to lie down on, a water bowl and key chain. To welcome each dog into the workplace, treats are available at each reception.
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The research was commissioned by DEC PR and Amazon and conducted by Lonergan Research in accordance with the ISO 20252 standard. Lonergan Research surveyed 1,298 Australians 18+. Surveys were distributed throughout Australia including both capital city and non-capital city areas. The survey was conducted online amongst members of a permission-based panel, between 14 and 21 April 2022. After interviewing, data was weighted to the latest population estimates sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.