Taking a peek into what is claimed to be the most dog-friendly office in the world
WE HAVE all heard about new-age workplaces, where everything from sporting a tattoo to keeping a pet has now been liberally allowed. But a walk into the offices of Kurgo, a Salisbury-, Massachusetts-based start-up that makes dog-travel gear, will change the way we look at corporate houses going all out to create little doggie heavens at their workplaces.
In search of an office big enough for its staff and their dogs, Kurgo took over its own 4,000-sq-ft warehouse in 2015. The centerpieces of the office’s structure are massive orange shipping containers—the very same ones Kurgo’s products are imported in. Wood panelling for walls and desks is reclaimed from Maine rivers.
In addition to the shipping containers and reclaimed wood, a vintage 1956 Airstream trailer adds personality to Kurgo’s office. The founders say the trailer reminds them of travels with their family dogs. Humans weren’t the only considerations in building out Kurgo’s offices though. The ample kitchen has an easy-clean floor and is always stocked with kibble and treats for the four-eight pups that come along to work each day. The new office features numerous amenities for dog owners, including a low water fountain, fake grass to create indoor play areas and baskets of dog toys. The dog-friendly office provides a natural community for dog owners too. They not only go on walks during lunch or afternoon breaks (dubbed ‘stink and steps’), but also often volunteer to watch one another’s pooches for weekends away.
After that long lunchtime walk, a shower specially designed to help hose off muddy puppies is a neat, if unusual, addition to the company bathroom. Kurgo’s offices are also customisable, with standing desks for the employee and beds for any size of pooch.
Kurgo doesn’t just love its own dogs. It also hosts occasional afterwork ‘Yappy Hours’, so that dog owners can connect. And it recently launched ‘Dogs Allowed’, a database of dog-friendly businesses. “In 2014, the Kurgo pack was running strong. What had started as a couple of brothers with a passion for pets had grown into a bustling business with more employees (and dogs) than the space could handle. It was nose-to-tail living for a few months, as we looked for a larger space to call our own, but there simply wasn’t anything that felt like home. So in the traditional spirit of Yankee ingenuity that has guided our company since its conception, we went ahead and built it ourselves in our old warehouse,” say the founders on the company website. It’s a dog’s life!