While dogs are widely recognised as being ‘man’s best friend‘, our relationship with our faithful hounds has – like the dogs themselves – been left firmly at home.
As more families welcome animals into the household, however, the boundaries are slowly beginning to blur, with an increasing number of workplaces inviting employees’ pets to join them in the office. Whilst on the up, the numbers are still minimal.
It is estimated that around 12 million UK households keep pets, which totals a whopping 44% of all UK homes according to the RSPCA, confirming our status as a nation of animal lovers. And yet, when it comes to pets at work we seem to take a backwards approach, with many workplaces banning pets altogether.
Thankfully for us animal lovers, there are a whole host of organisations working tirelessly to revolutionise the way we think about pets. Some provide a ‘drop-in’ service whereby four-legged friends pop by the office to provide a spot of light relief, while others boast the benefits of having a full-time workplace pet – or even allow workers to bring their own!
What are the benefits of having dogs in the office?
The values of workplace pets – whether visiting or permanent – have been documented in several studies, all of which contribute towards the rising interest in office animals.
A study conducted by The Bio Agency found that 55% of those surveyed said they would feel more motivated if their workplace had a pet, perhaps through implementing a sense of homely enjoyment into their professional lives.
Furthermore, clinical psychotherapist Terri Bodell confirmed that workplace pets can help employees to relax by reducing their heart rate and blood pressure, which in turn has the power to decrease staff absenteeism and improve morale.
Just think, what would make you want to go to work more than knowing there was a wagging tail there ready and waiting, or better yet, being able to take your own furry friend along with you?!
Findings like these confirm our nation’s adoration of animals and, in doing so, prompts us to question why we haven’t welcomed them into our workplaces sooner.
So, what’s the problem…
Obviously, there are genuine issues that may arise with having pets in the office. Bosses may have concerns that phobias may lead to staff taking time off work or, more significantly, leaving their position altogether if the situation worsens. There’s also the problem of allergies, which could pose genuine health risks.
It is for these reasons, perhaps, that many new startup companies allow animals in the office – as they can warn prospective employees before building a workforce – whilst it may be more difficult to introduce pets to established workplaces.
It seems, however, that any possible downsides of welcoming animals into our workplaces are far outweighed by the benefits on offer, as demonstrated by the fact that a whopping third of UK businesses – that’s 1.7 million companies nationwide – welcome our four-legged friends into the office!
It’s undoubtedly a big step for businesses to take, but a canine companion might just be the inspiration your business needs!
Could yours be next?
Summer holiday booked but still looking for pet care? Perhaps Tailster can help! We’ve a range of fully vetted carers across the UK, available to tend to your pet care needs as and when you require. For more information on our full service, click here.