Before Ben & Jerry’s shut down its offices in South Burlington on March 13, 2020, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the dog-to-person ratio was 1 to 2.
“We had between 40 to 45 dogs in the office on any given day,” said Lindsay Bumps, a global marketing specialist for the ice cream company.
That’s a lot of dogs, and it probably explains Ben & Jerry’s recent ranking of 31st nationally for dog-friendly offices in a survey done by Rover.com, an online marketplace for pet care, founded in 2011.
Bumps said no firm date has been set for Ben & Jerry’s employees to return to their South Burlington offices, but she’s hoping it will happen some time next spring. When the doors do re-open, she fully expects the dogs to come back along with the people, plus some.
“At least a handful of coworkers have welcomed quarantine dogs into their families, so I think there will be more,” Bumps said.
Dogs were welcomed into plenty of offices in Vermont before the pandemic hit, including Burton, Seventh Generation and Switchback, said Erin Bombard of the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce. That is by no means a comprehensive list, she said, but includes some of the bigger companies that sanctioned canines.
“Employers are exploring lots of options to retain their employees and create a positive culture,” said Cathy Davis, president of the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce. “Being dog friendly is one way an employer can differentiate. And since there were so many pets adopted in 2020, such a policy may also help employers attract employees back to their offices post-pandemic.”
Bumps couldn’t agree more.
“They bring joy to people, and they’re a good excuse to get up from my desk during the day for a little break,” Bumps said. “It makes me not sit in front of computer screen all day, and helps with my productivity.”
Contact Dan D’Ambrosio at 660-1841 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @DanDambrosioVT. This coverage is only possible with support from our readers.
(this story/news/article has not been edited by PostX News staff and is published from a syndicated feed)