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Welcomed At Some Workplaces, Dogs Prompt Canine-Oriented Lease Provision and Office Policy

Posted Sep 10, 2012 5:47 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A growing Minnesota-based Web development company has a lot of experience with arranging to lease new office space.

And there's at least one provision that isn't negotiable, the Nerdery's co-president tells the Star-Tribune.

"We've moved or expanded our office space eight times in as many years, and an open-door dog policy has been a must-have in every lease negotiation," says Mark Malmberg of his 400-employee company. "Dogs have been a part of Nerdery culture since day one."

With an increasing number of companies allowing workers to bring their canines to work with them, codes of behavior, formal or informal, apply to pets as well as their people.

In addition to being potty-trained, dogs can't be a barking distraction or wander the workplace at will. Hence, the Nerdery has what one official calls "kind of a leash law," and Alan Weiner, the founder and chief executive officer of KTI the Transportation People, which also allows employees to bring their dogs to work, conducts what he describes as "almost a dog interview process."

The Minnetonka, Minn.-based company, also has a humans-only lunchroom policy between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

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