‘Furternity’ leave offered as perk at Minneapolis firm

Author: WCCO
Photo via Pixabay

There are ups and downs during those first few months of new pet ownership.

And that was no different for Bentley, the rambunctious 5-month-old Golden Doodle, and his owners.

“When [Bentley] first came home, he was definitely a lot more nervous about the new environment, which is where the ‘work from home’ really came in and helped us out,” said owner Conner McCarthy.

He is one of the first employees at Minneapolis marketing firm Nina Hale to use “furternity” leave, allowing him to work from his apartment as he house trained his new pup.

“Having Bentley understand, ‘Hey, outside is where I go to the bathroom,’ is a big deal,” McCarthy said. “Also, him understanding where he sleeps at night and his place in the house, that was really crucial.”

Needless to say, he is thankful for his company’s new age way of thinking.

“We have a culture where we try our best to accommodate different things that happen in employees’ lives,” said Nina Hale CEO Donna Robinson.

She said they regularly conduct surveys to learn employee’s needs both at work and outside of it, as well as having personal conversations with them.

Furternity leave is just the tip of the iceberg. Nina Hale offers two “work from home” days per month, a week off between Christmas and New Year’s Day, and “Summer Fridays” year round, which allows employees to leave early in the afternoon on the final day of the work week.

“We really wanted to focus on what would make their life better, what would enrich their family time, what would make for a better day to day living working environment for them,” Robinson said.

For McCarthy, that meant fulfilling his role as an account manager and new pet parent without ever having to head to the office for a full week.

“It didn’t affect the work load, so at the end of the day it was a win-win for everyone,” he said.

Nina Hale employs about 80 people. Robinson said many of them are young people who looking for their first or second job out of college. She said having unique benefits allow them to remain competitive as they try to maintain their current employees, and attract new ones.

“We’re trying to make this literally the best place to work that there is,” she said.

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