In recent years, more and more businesses have found out that it pays to be dog-friendly: clients are more likely to return, or even to pay extra, if they feel their pets are as welcome as they are. Dog-friendly pubs, restaurants, beaches and such are more and more common - and now research by Purina PetCare suggests the presence of a dog makes the workplace more attractive for employees as well, especially millennials.
According to the research, 42 per cent of workers aged 18-34 across the UK enjoy, or would like, a dog-friendly workplace; a quarter of them says that it would make a company more attractive to them - so, if your business needs to attract young talents, enlisting an office dog might actually help. There are other lasting advantages as well: 41 per cent of millennials believe that having a dog in the office would boost morale, and the same percentage of employers have found that a dog calms and de-stresses the office. It certainly is the case at the Dogs Monthly offices, as our office dog Sterling has been jokingly referred to as our own therapy dog more than once!
Such are the benefits that over a quarter (28 per cent) of working millennial would give up other office perks, such as yoga or gym membership, in exchange of dog-friendly policies. Companies are catching up quickly, with more than a quarter of businesses having friendly policies in place and about the same amount considering introducing them.
Purina Human Resources Director, Paul Steadman, said, “From our own experience, we know that pet-friendly workplaces lead to a whole range of positive benefits such as higher employee engagement, talent retention, greater wellbeing, higher performance and productivity, increased inspiration and decreased stress. Moreover dogs are by nature sociable and affectionate. Coming to work offers them the opportunity to spend more time with their owners and to socialise with other dogs and colleagues.
“We want to help other UK businesses to adopt pet-friendly policies and reap the benefits by providing a toolkit that helps to simplify the process. The perceived complexity of implementing a dog-friendly policy can be a barrier for some organisations and so how to help businesses of any size to introduce their own scheme has been one of the key factors in developing our Pets at Work toolkit.”
Manchester-based activation agency Rapport have had great success with their dog-friendly offices.
“Having the option of bringing a dog into work has made it possible for me to become a dog owner. It means the world to me to be able to incorporate my dog into my work life,” said Hannah Cross-Phillipson, Creative Lead at Rapport. “Pet Fridays are a highlight in our office week, especially for those who don’t own dogs and now get to have their weekly dose of doggy love. Having a dog around lifts the mood and energy in the office. It also forces us to get out and enjoy some fresh air throughout the day.”
Purina encourages Brits to support the Pets at Work initiative by sharing their own #PetsAtWork stories, as well as downloading the Pets at Work toolkit.