The concept of pet-friendly spaces emerged in the second decade of the 21st century: a new trend that allows domestic animals to access and remain in public places that were commonly used exclusively by humans, such as cafés, gyms, hotels, shopping centers and even the workplace.
Nowadays, it’s increasingly common to find a pet around a work desk. The United States is one of the countries with the largest number of pet-friendly offices. According to surveys of the American Pet Product, 11% of dog owners in this country indicate that their pets are allowed in their place of work. In the last 4 years this percentage has increased by 3%, which shows that it is a growing trend, especially in developed countries.
Even though estimates indicate that 57.8% of Panamanians own pets, this reality is not too widespread here yet. The City of Knowledge Foundation (FCdS, for its acronym in Spanish) is one of the few pet-friendly workplaces in Panama.
Leonel is a Graphic Designer at FCdS and, for months, he’s had a peculiar “neighbor” at work: Paquito. Paquito is his colleague Aitor’s dog, and he is not the only pet-colleague at the Foundation: there are other pets that come to the FCdS offices daily, such as Canela and Chubi.
Leonel affirms that pet-friendly workplaces are a great initiative, since they bring a positive element to the work environment: “I like animals very much, especially dogs, they are very affectionate, and they make your work day more manageable. Having Paquito around has been very good, he is a good dog and, like the others who visit us, very affectionate. ”
This is a relief for Aitor, the pet’s owner: “I am relieved, because I do not have to leave him alone at home all day. Besides, Paquito is very happy here: here, he can socialize with more people and other dogs; you can tell by how energetic he is.”
Pet-friendly workplace policies are beginning to have an impact even when it comes to attracting or retaining talent. This is an issue particularly relevant for millennials, and companies such as Amazon and Google know this and were pioneers in implementing such policies. The City of Knowledge Foundation has joined this trend seeking to create greater value for its employees.