Striking that perfect work-life balance can be quite the challenge for those of us with little ones at home, their slobbery faces pressed up against the window, waiting for mom or dad to get home and give them some love—before they take it out on a favorite pair of shoes or all over that new rug. Advertising professionals searching for a pooch-friendly environment need look no further than L.A., where we visited three agencies to find out why having a furball by one’s side makes work life all the better.
First up, Mistress. “Having a dog here, I feel, and I think other people feel, very much at home. It’s kind of like playing around, it’s kind of like a living room,” says Jamal Northington, the agency’s IT director, who adds, “You know I would really have to question and think about whether I worked at an agency that didn’t allow me to bring my dog with me.” Adds Erica Kmiec, talent manager at Mistress’ sister marketing shop, Neato: “Being in the advertising industry is sometimes a little bit stressful and sometimes overwhelming and so having the dogs here really helps with that.”
“When I get out of a meeting and it’s really stressful, you know, I’m kind of uptight, I walk out and I see somebody playing with their dog, it just makes me so much happier,” says Dana Commandatore, director, creative and print services at Deutsch LA. “It calms me down because it reminds me that there’s a whole other world out there that has nothing to do with work—that is, real life—and that’s why we’re doing this.”
“This office would be very different culturally if dogs weren’t allowed,” says Patricia Korth-McDonnell, managing director of Huge. “It’s also a recruiting and retention issue. It seems insane that you might choose one job over another because you can bring your dog, but people do. Dogs are really important parts of their lives.”
Photography: Alfred Maskeroni; Video: John Tejada
This story first appeared in the Nov. 16 issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.