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Flexible Work Solutions Can Make Every Day Pets at Work Day


In many places today, furry friends are joining the workplace to celebrate Take Your Dog to Work Day, or the more inclusive Pets At Work Day.

With our flexible work practices here at Dell, on any given day of the year many of our employees are working alongside their pets!

Two dogs sit in front of laptops with headsets

On the Internet, no one knows… but these Dell employee pets are just posing in their owners’ workspaces.

One of Dell’s Legacy of Good goals is to encourage eligible team members to enroll in our flexible work programs so that we increase global participation to 50 percent by 2020.

Currently, almost 15,000 of our employees around the globe are fully remote workers, and more than another 4,000 tele-work or split their time between one of our offices and a remote location. That’s more than 20,000 team members participating in our Connected Workplaceprograms. Dell ranks number three on FlexJobs’ list of the Top 100 Remote Work companies. I myself work from home two days a week and from our main headquarters three days a week.

While that means approximately 20 percent of Dell’s global workforce helps to conserve natural resources and energy, reduce transportation-related pollution, promote public safety and lessen the strain on transportation systems, it also means we enjoy greater flexibility and job satisfaction. For many of us, our pets play a big part in that.

“I used to go for hours straight without stopping,” said Jennifer Newbill. But, our pets aren’t shy about reminding us of the need to get up and move during the day. My two dogs have been great personal trainers, helping me lose pounds and get in shape, but they’re not the only pets who work.

“His job is to remind me to leave my desk for lunch and take him and his sister River out for a walk,” Scott Valla said of his dog Bentley, who isn’t shy about letting him know when “it’s time for a meeting in the kitchen to discuss treats.”  

Cat looking at cameraWhile Donna Terpack noted sometimes the “biggest challenge is resisting the urge to snuggle up and take a cat nap,” the number one difficulty I heard when talking to my coworkers about working with their pets was barking during conference calls — although dogs aren’t the only ones who want their say.

“My cat Tortie always feels the need to jump in with her two cents and get right next to the screen,” said Christina Furtado. Amanda Engler’s cat Jester (photo right) anxiously waits for her to get off a conference call so he can jump into her lap

And how is it that delivery people just seem to have a knack for coming right when it’s our turn to speak?

“When I am on a conference call and the UPS or FedEx guy arrives, my beagle lights up and will not stop until he is gone, down the road and around the corner,” said Sarah Locke. “But she is also right there to calm me down when i am having a stressful day.”

“The greatest reward is that they are wonderful stress relievers,” agreed Terpak.

“Instant stress relievers through hugs, pets, and kisses, forcing you to walk away from the work for a few minutes to revive energy levels,” is how Anka Jedry described her three dogs.

Flexible work practices allows Dell to maximize our use of office space, support team members in working where and when they’re most productive and minimizes our operating costs and environmental impact. But, the individual benefits are much more personal.

“I can’t imagine not having my dogs with me and working from home now for so many years it would be very hard for me to be away from them,” said Charity Cartier. “I’m lucky I get to bring my pet to work every day!”

Need even more furry cuteness than the above photos? Here are some others our employees shared with me while writing this post:

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