There are many studies attesting the benefits of having a pet friendly work environment.
According to Banfield Pet Hospital’s Pet-Friendly Workplace PAWrometer 2016 survey, pets in the workplace can help:
- Work-Life balance
- Lower stress and absenteeism
- Reduce guilt about leaving pets home alone
- Boost morale
- Increase productivity
- Improve relationships among co-workers
- Positively impact group dynamics: team-building/bonding
- Increase loyalty to company
Allowing pets in the workplace can create a real competitive advantage. It’s a fringe benefit which is increasing in popularity as more companies bring it to the table in a bid to recruit top employees, especially millennials.
According to research by Purina PetCare, 42% of workers aged 18-34 across the UK enjoy, or would like, a dog-friendly workplace; 25% say it would make a company more attractive to them. Such are the benefits that 28% of working millennials would give up other perks, such as yoga or gym membership, in exchange for dog-friendly policies.
Having dogs in the office goes beyond making the owners happy. A study in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management found that (where dogs were present) stress declined for dog owners and non-dog owners alike. In contrast, stress rose for dog owners who left their pups at home, and for non-dog owners working in a non-dog friendly environment stress also increased. This has been further backed up by research published by Central Michigan University.
Employers Leading The “Pet Friendly” Way
Dogs are allowed daily inside the offices of Google:
“Google’s affection for our canine friends is an integral facet of our corporate culture,” the company’s code of conduct says. “We like cats, but we’re a dog company, so as a general rule we feel cats visiting our offices would be fairly stressed out.”
Facebook, Amazon, and Ben & Jerry’s
Amazon even has dog biscuits available at the front desk and dog friendly water fountains scattered throughout the Seattle campus.
Through the Pets At Work (PAW) programme, led by Nestlé Purina, Nestlé Gatwick has become the first Nestlé HQ worldwide to become dog-friendly.
The programme forms part of Nestlé’s Health and Wellbeing agenda, with a recent survey by Purina revealing staff are happier and healthier when able to take their pets to work. Results showed 47% of 18-24 year olds view bringing a pet to work as a work perk.
Other Purina survey finds included:
- Happier and healthier staff (34%)
- Dogs get to spend more time with their owners (30%)
- Increased socialisation (28%)
- Encourage more physical activity (26%)
- Employees less likely to suffer from depression (20%)
- Dogs get to socialise with other dogs (18%)
- Reduced blood pressure and cholesterol levels (17%)
- Increased engagement and motivation (14%)
- Helps break the ice when talking to senior staff (10%)
- Helps break the ice when talking to an office crush (9%)
Thinking of implementing a #PetsAtWork policy?
If inviting dogs into work is something you are considering be mindful of those who do not like dogs. Planning must account for anyone who might be uncomfortable around dogs, be sure to include dog free areas.
Check out this free downloadable Toolkit from Purina Pets at Work Alliance for more tips.
Author – Gerry Molloy CEO / Founder www.WoofAdvisor.com