More than four-fifths of UK employees believe pet-friendly workplaces are happier offices to work in, with workers saying organisations allowing dogs to come to work have the biggest positive impact on their wellbeing.
This is according to research conducted by Purina PetCare’s Pets at Work (PAW) scheme. Purina, a company that produces and markets pet food, found that 81 per cent of workers hold the opinion that a pet-friendly office is a happier place to work in.
Three-quarters (75 per cent) feel that a “canine colleague” could help diffuse stressful or difficult situations at work.
A fifth (20 per cent) of companies now allow workers to bring their dog in to work. As well as just under three-quarters (74 per cent) being in favour of dog-friendly offices.
Some employees (17 per cent) would be willing to take a pay freeze or pay cut if they were able to bring their dog to work.
University of Lincoln’s research also found that taking your dog to work leaves employees feeling 22 per cent more satisfied compared to other employees who cannot.
A large majority (91 per cent) of people who live in the UK say that find having a dog around them is a calming influence and 94 per cent believing a pets presence can improve their own confidence. Under a third (31 per cent) even said spending time with a pet had helped them whilst suffering from a mental illness.
The study reveals the top reasons why taking a dog to work is a good idea:
- A good conversation starter (54 per cent)
- Great for meeting new people (50 per cent)
- Improve overall happiness and wellbeing (46 per cent)
- More likely to take a walk at lunch (46 per cent)
- Save money on pet care (31 per cent)
- Improve office morale (31 per cent)
- Pets are more stimulated at work, than being home alone (31 per cent)
- Owners do not need to rush off at the end of the day (23 per cent)
- Facilitate new friends (22 per cent)
- Dog owners are less likely to take sick days, if they can bring their pet to work (21 per cent)
Calum Macrae, regional director Purina UK & Ireland, said:
Purina has had dogs coming into our office for the last 15 years. Our four-legged colleagues have really helped to make the office a much more fun and engaging place to be and has had a noticeable impact on our employee’s wellbeing. The world in general can be increasingly more stressful so finding new and different ways to improve how people feel at work is critical. We have seen first-hand how something as simple as having a dog in the office can positively affect people’s stress and anxiety levels, which in turn benefits their overall health and wellbeing.
Interested in wellbeing in the workplace. We recommend the Workplace Wellbeing and Stress Forum 2019.
Darius is the editor of HRreview. He has previously worked as a finance reporter for the Daily Express. He studied his journalism masters at Press Association Training and graduated from the University of York with a degree in History.