Photo: Pets at Work, some of the dogs and their owners from Nestlé UK & Ireland – original photography by Rachel Oates
- A new report by the University of Lincoln reveals that employees who often take their dog to work report 22% higher satisfaction with their working conditions and is the first to quantify the benefits and the impact of dogs in the office on work-related and dog-related outcomes.
- The study is being published to celebrate national ‘Bring your dog to work day’ (Friday, 21 June 2019) and was sponsored by Purina, the founding member of the Pets at Work Alliance.
- The research also shows that taking pets to work can impact positively on employees’ engagement and personal wellbeing; lead to organisational benefits, and strengthen the bond between pets and their owners.
A new report ‘Taking Dogs into the Office’ sponsored by Purina Human-Animal Bond Studies sponsorship program and conducted by researchers at the University of Lincoln (UK) shows that employees who often take their dog to work report 22% higher satisfaction with working conditions. This new research is the first to quantify the benefits and the impact of dogs in the office on work-related and dog-related outcomes. It measures parameters such as employees’ engagement and wellbeing or their control over decisions at work, and analyses how the bond between dogs and their owners can be reinforced by being together as well in the office.
Professor Daniel Mills, Professor of Veterinary Behavioural Medicine, Director of The Animal Behaviour Clinic at the University of Lincoln, and one of the authors of the research along with Dr. Sophie Hall says: “If you told employers there was a simple way to increase their workforce overall satisfaction with the working conditions, they’d be very keen to learn more. Our results show that far from being a distraction, (a fear expressed by some in our earlier work) allowing dogs in the workplace has the potential to improve employees’ focus and probably productivity too. Forward-thinking companies should consider very seriously if they can accommodate dogs in the workplace and the Purina Pets at Work programme can enable them to do this efficiently.”
Nestlé UK & Ireland, Purina’s sister company, has been welcoming dogs into many of its offices since 2015, with its main offices in Gatwick, Dublin and York now has over 100 four legged colleagues on the payroll. The company is committed to promoting dog-friendly workplaces to help more people and pets enjoy the benefits of spending more time together. To support more organisations to become dog-friendly, Purina has developed the Pets at Work Alliance, a framework for other companies to follow and enable their employees to bring their pets to work.
“Currently, 22 countries have established Pets at Work programmes in Purina and Nestlé offices”, states Bernard Meunier, CEO at Nestlé Purina PetCare Europe, Middle East and North Africa. “At Purina, we have also supported 80 partners across Europe to implement our framework, become dog-friendly and join our Pets at Work Alliance. Our objective, as part of our commitment to promote pets in the workplace, is to support pets at work initiatives and help 200 companies join our Pets at Work Alliance by 2020”, Meunier confirms. Companies including UniCredit in Italy, wework in France, AFB International in Netherlands and McCann in the UK are already members of this global Alliance.
A common myth until now has been that taking dogs into the office could be distracting. This new research shows that employees who take their dog to work report increased absorption in their work by a significant 33.4% and in their dedication to work by 16.5% – compared to the norm, with an overall increase in work engagement of 14.4%. In fact, researchers suggest that the presence of a friendly dog may increase motivation and attention to set tasks.
‘Taking Dogs into the Office’ research demonstrates that bringing pets to work increases employees’ performance and productivity and reduces employees’ intention to leave their job. These outcomes highlight potential benefits for companies that allow employees to bring their pets to work. Their employees may be more engaged and productive, and the company might be able to reduce their recruitment costs by avoiding the potential loss of their own talent.
The findings also show that employees who often take their dog to work report 14.9% higher satisfaction with their home-work interface (i.e. in accommodating family and work commitments). In addition, they report 16.9% higher scores in their overall work quality of life compared to the norm and 16.6% higher control at work, which includes their perceived control over decisions being made at work. Overall, employees scored 13.1% higher for their job-career satisfaction and 4.7% higher for their general well-being, with greater levels of happiness and life satisfaction.
From the dog’s perspective, being able to go to the office with their owner may also be beneficial. Many dogs are left alone for long periods of time, and separation related problems are recognised as one of the most important threats to domestic dog welfare. Therefore, spending more time together also helps strengthen the bond between pets and pet-owners.
For more information, including access to images please contact: Nestlé UK Press Office on 020 8667 6005 or e-mail [email protected]
About the Pets at Work Alliance
The Pets at Work Alliance is a group of businesses and organisations across Europe who, in sharing the same belief as Purina – that people and pets are better together – is committed to instigating the Pets at Work policy, with the goal of 200 organisations opening their doors to pets by 2020.
Purina understands the many benefits of a pet-friendly workplace for employees, such as higher engagement, retention and wellbeing; higher performance and productivity; higher inspiration and lower stress. Establishing our own Pets at Work scheme has provided significant learnings for successful implementation, including safety and health, responsible ownership and education, and workspace requirements. From this experience, Purina has developed materials and guidance for organisations wishing to introduce the Pets at Work scheme, including pet etiquette guidelines and an employee pledge to ensure the safety of pets and their respective owners or other employees.
Organisations and businesses interested in setting up their own Pets at Work scheme and in joining the Pets at Work Alliance to promote pet-friendly workplaces are encouraged to visit: https://www.purina.co.uk/pins/pets-at-work
About Nestlé Purina PetCare EMENA
Nestlé Purina PetCare EMENA (Europe, Middle East, and North Africa) believes that pets and people are better together and is committed to helping pets live longer, happier and healthier lives through proper nutrition and care. For over 120 years, Purina has been one of the pioneers in providing nutritious and palatable products made to the highest standards of quality and safety. Purina’s passion for pets goes beyond the advancement of pet nutrition, and in 2016, Purina PetCare Europe launched the 10 Purina in Society commitments to have a positive impact on pets and society, including promoting pet adoption, pets in the workplace and helping to reduce the risk of pet obesity. The Purina portfolio includes many of the best-known and best-loved pet foods including Purina Felix, Purina Friskies, Purina Beneful, Purina Beyond, Purina Fido, Purina One, Purina Gourmet, Purina Pro Plan and Purina Bakers.
A premiere global manufacturer of pet products, Nestlé Purina PetCare is part of Swiss-based Nestlé S.A., a global leader in nutrition, health and wellness.
For more information, visit the Purina website: www.purina.eu
About the University of Lincoln
The University of Lincoln was awarded Gold – the highest standard possible – in the national Teaching Excellence Framework, an independent assessment of teaching quality in UK higher education. The award reflects our exciting teaching, great support for students and excellent employment outcomes. Lincoln is ranked 22nd in The Guardian University Guide 2019. The institution is known for a pioneering approach to working with employers, which has been recognised with a Lord Stafford Award and Times Higher Education Award. In the National Student Survey 2018, students rated Lincoln in the top 10 in the UK for academic support, learning resources and learning community with several of our courses placed number one overall for their subject areas. Among our most recent graduates, 96 per cent were in work or further study six months after finishing their course with more than 80 per cent in graduate level roles. More than half of our research is judged to be internationally excellent or world leading (Research Excellence Framework).
[1,2]Taking Dogs into the Office: A Novel Strategy for Promoting Work Engagement, Commitment and Quality of Life. Daniel Mills, Professor of Veterinary Behavioural Medicine and Director of Animal Behaviour Clinic, University of Lincoln UK (pdf, 3Mb)