One in five British workplaces allow pets in the office

Clear “gender pet gap” is evident, with 12 per cent of male workers complaining about pets compared to only one per cent of women

According to new research, one-fifth of British workplaces now allow employees to bring pets into the office, yet a similar proportion (22 per cent) of workers have complained about the furry companions.

The survey by online job board CV-Library found that when it comes to the personal effect of animals in the workplace, there is clear evidence of a “gender pet gap”. According to the data there is a stark difference in opinion between males and females with nearly half (46 per cent) of women believe that having a pet at work eases stress and helps relaxation, compared to 29 per cent of men.

21 per cent of women believes it makes them feel more friendly or approachable, compared to 14 per cent of men and 40 per cent of men accuse pets of being distracting in the workplace, in contrast to 30 per cent of women. Finally, nearly one-fifth of men (19 per cent) go as far to call pets annoying in the workplace

The result of the “gender pet gap” led to a shocking 12 per cent of British men admitting to complaining about pets at work, in stark contrast to virtually no female complaints (one per cent).

In the eternal battle between cats and dogs, canines rule the workplace – making up 87 per cent of all “professional” pets. Cats are clearly an unpopular option at work with only five per cent admitting to having a feline in the workplace, and rabbits coming in third with two per cent.

Across the country, London, with its influx of co-working spaces, leads pet allowance in the office with 27 per cent of workers admitting to having them in the office. The South East (24 per cent), Wales (22 per cent) and Northern Ireland (22 per cent) follow close behind. The East Midlands and the North East are the keenest to keep pets at home, with 91 per cent and 87 per cent of workplaces saying no.

In general, nearly half of Brits would like to see more workplaces allowing pets, but 20 per cent suggest that strict policies from HR should be in place.

With bringing animals into the office becoming a growing trend, employers should sit up and take notice. 28 per cent of Brits suggested that they’d be more likely to apply for a job if they have, or were allowed to bring in, pets in their working environment.

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library comments:

“With one in two households owning a pet in the UK1, it’s clear to see the attraction and convenience of bringing them with you to work.”

“Our new research shines a light on the latest HR trend that many businesses are implementing to stand out from the crowd and attract the very best recruits. It seems to be working, with women being more favorable to the trend. As long as clear protocols are in place for pet ownership, it is set to have a positive benefit to employees and those around them.”

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  1. “With one in two households owning a pet in the UK, it’s clear to see the attraction and convenience of bringing them with you to work.”
    Convenience to whom? Attraction to whom?
    What about people who have allergies, phobias and dislikes and the effect on their work related effectiveness?
    All pets will not be cuddly kittens or gorgeous labradoodles, what about mice, ferrets, rabbits etc? I am currently looking after a friend’s greyhound whose rectal aroma clears the home office every hour!
    Owning and looking after a pet is a choice. It takes time, commitment, love and money. If I were working all day, away from home, I would not have a dog, as it needs attention, exercising and toileting. I believe we have a duty to our employer to work effectively for the agreed salary.
    When I worked as a scientific researcher at an agricultural institute, I got one of the puppies from the farm and she stayed with the other animals until we returned home together in the evening. This is very different from large offices in cities and towns and a 9-5 environment.
    What about Health & Safety aspects? Young bored dogs chew cables, get under feet and could cause trips and falls etc…..Older dogs don’t like to move and expect humans to move around them and cats are renowned for their independence. it is a fact that many dogs are hard wired to chase cats, rabbits and even birds; such behaviour could reduce time spent working, whilst dealing with such behaviour.
    By all means have a special day to share you choice of animal, but every day seems to me totally inappropriate.
    That said, I have shared my (home) office with 2 dogs for the past 10 years, which makes it easy to attend to their needs and provides an excuse for lunch time exercise, but the only person here is me!
    When i meet clients, my dogs are not in attendance and we use a room where the dogs do not enter, in deference to client preferences and potential health conditions.
    All that said, I offer a presentation entitled “a Dog’s View of Management” with, if allowed, the ‘Dog’ himself!!

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