Pet Friendly Offices Combat Staff Stress Levels

pet friendly offices

Pet friendly offices can help to relieve stress in the workplace according to a recent survey, benefiting staff morale and retention.

Pet friendly offices can help to relieve stress in the workplace according to a recent survey in the US. Companies that allow their employees to bring in pets not only benefit from high morale but also increased staff retention.

The Banfield Pet Hospital survey spoke to 200 HR professionals and 1000 employees from companies of various sizes. 70% of those surveyed agreed that pets in the office improved working conditions. This was the view even within companies that didn’t currently allow pets.

Tami Majer, Senior Vice President of People and Organisation for Banfield Pet Hospital said; “Allowing pets in the workplace can be a real competitive edge.  It’s a benefit/amenity that companies are bringing to the table to recruit employees, especially with respect to millennials.”

HR professionals stated that candidates are now regularly asking about pet friendly policies during interviews. 79% of those surveyed stated that they proactively bring it up as a recruitment tool.

In terms of staff retention, 53% of employees currently working in non pet friendly workplaces said they would be more likely to stay in their current employment if they could take their pet to work.

Which Companies/Industries Are the Most Pet Friendly?

The Banfield Pet Hospital survey found that IT firms are the most likely to have a pet friendly policy in place. 40% of IT service employees worked in a pet friendly office.

The size of a company also had an influence. A third of those surveyed who benefited from a pet friendly office, worked for a company with fewer than 50 employees. The likelihood of a company being pet friendly reduced significantly in companies with over 500 employees, with only 17% of companies this size having a policy in place.

Dogs Are Good for Your Health

dogs relieve stress

Dogs in the office can help to relieve stress levels and enhance performance

Dogs are seen as being particularly a good antidote to creating a happy office atmosphere.  They have been found to help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and they can reduce feelings of loneliness. Bringing your dog to work also ensures that you take time out for a lunch break by going for a walk and taking that extra bit of exercise.

The recent BBC TV series, How To Stay Young saw Dr van Tulleken carrying out a series of mental arithmetic tests in an office that allowed its employees to bring their dogs to work. The participants were asked to complete the tests without their dog in the room and then again with their beloved pooch present. In all cases the participants did better in the tests, and had lower blood pressure readings when their dogs were in the room with them.

Does your company operate a pet friendly policy? Have you taken your pet to work? Share your stories and pictures with us on Twitter with the hashtag #petfriendlyoffice

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Michelle Roper-Shaw