Case Study

uShip

About uShip

uShip makes it quick, easy, and affordable to ship large or bulky items. From cars to cranes and furniture to freight, our straightforward and transparent platform helps people, businesses, e-commerce sellers, and multinational logistics companies ship with greater speed and efficiency. Launched in 2004, uShip is based in Austin, Texas.

To Learn More About uShip, Visit www.uship.com.

Pet-Friendly Philosophy

At uShip, every day is “bring your dog to work day.” This has been uShip’s philosophy since the company started 15 years ago. uShip realized early on that having a pet-friendly environment gave their employees greater work satisfaction. The company likes to think of itself as one big family and views the dogs of uShip as an extension of that family.

As the company grew from 20 people to 200 people, the pet-friendly policy has been maintained. On any given day, you can find upwards of 20 dogs of all shapes and sizes in the uShip 45,000 sq. ft. office.

For uShip employees, it’s a big morale booster and brings peace of mind that their “child” is okay during the workday. If employees are working long hours, they aren’t worried about getting home to let their dog out, feed them, walk them, etc. The dogs also get great socialization, which contributes to their health and happiness as well.

Employee dogs become a fixture at uShip – almost like an employee. The company likes to joke that when an employee moves on from uShip, their employees are often as upset about losing the dog as the employee.

Pet-Friendly Policies That Work

uShip’s employees can bring their dogs to work any day of the week and as often as they like. There are a few simple criteria that must be met: dogs must stay with their owner at all times, the employee must have a leash for their dog, the dog must be current on vaccines, and they cannot come to work sick.

The policy works so well for uShip that the company has seen puppies grow into mature dogs. The company’s work dogs quickly adopt the uShip culture and laidback vibe. Just like the company’s human employees, the dogs all get along with each other and like to hang out.

Realizing the need to minimize work distractions and productivity dips, uShip installed a full-sized backyard area that the dogs can use as a park. There are dog toys, frisbees and balls for them, too. The company also has benches and tables so their employees can take their laptops outside and work while watching their pup play.

“We consider our doggie backyard area our modern-day ‘water cooler.’ Not only do the dogs get to socialize for a few minutes, so do their owners.”

Pet-Friendly Activities

Dogs bring a sense of calm, balance, happiness and a level of enjoyment to the uShip offices. This is something the company doesn’t take for granted. So their team dreams up fun activities to integrate pets into the work environment. The company’s most looked-forward-to event is their annual Wiener Dog Races. The entire company gears up for the competition and posts pictures to their “Dogs of uShip” Instagram page.

The uShip team also dreamed up a doggie offsite activity. Once a week, a bus from a local pet resort picks up the dogs and takes them to an offsite, all-day doggie retreat where they can spend the day hanging out and being dogs. It’s a great opportunity for both the dogs and their owners to enjoy some “me” time.

Advice for Companies Considering a Pet-Friendly Policy

First and foremost, uShip recommends establishing solid policies about who can bring dogs, parameters about when dogs can come to work, and what breeds or personalities will be allowed. Questions employees should consider: does your dog bark a lot, require a lot of attention, or show aggression towards other dogs? If so, the employee should reconsider bringing them to work.

The company also recommends installing a grass space for the dogs to socialize and do their business, so employees don’t have to go offsite for pet breaks.

Having dogs in the work area shouldn’t cut into productivity or disrupt the flow of business. For example, if companies have a large, open-floor sales area or customer service bank, it may not be the best environment for dogs, since distractions like barking can be heard on customer calls.

Lastly, uShip recommends keeping lots of treats hidden around the office! 

“uShip dogs like to grow old with us! We have seen puppies mature into grown dogs that in turn ‘train’ the next set of uShip puppies to work with us.”

Want to Make Your City Pet-Friendlier?

Check out our guide on advocating for a pet-friendly community. Find out what you can do to make your city more welcoming to pets and owners alike.

View the Guide

Looking for Even More Ways to Improve Your Pet-Friendliness?

Check out Better Cities for Pets™’ comprehensive set of resources for more information on specific actions you can take to improve the pet-friendliness of your community.

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