On World Mental Health Day, Petcare company Purina is calling for more businesses to become pet-friendly, as research reveals that inviting dogs into the workplace could improve employee mental wellbeing.
According to research commissioned by Purina1, more than three-quarters of Brits (81%) believe pet-friendly workplaces are happier ones, with dog-friendly work environments found to be the perk that Brits said had the biggest positive impact on their overall wellbeing.
One in five people (20%) ranked it higher than other common perks such as free breakfasts, a complementary bar and free childcare at the office. Dog-friendly offices can bring extra benefits too, with a quarter (24%) saying it improves human relationships in the workplace.
40% of participants said they felt it enhances work-life balance, which can be pivotal in a post-covid world where more businesses are shifting to hybrid ways of working. Employees could also see cost-savings through bringing pets to work, even just for one or two days a week - providing some potentially vital relief during the cost-of-living crisis.
Purina believes pets and people are better together. Its Pets At Work (PAW) scheme has been running since 2003 and provides support and materials for companies wanting to open their doors to canine colleagues, including a toolkit based on their own experiences. Its offices began welcoming furry friends nearly 20 years ago, with employees reporting a wealth of benefits in their personal and professional mental wellbeing because of this scheme.
Gemma Gillingham, Nestlé Purina Pets at Work Lead, said: "My dogs are pivotal to my mental health. Being able to bring my dogs into work means I have a more positive, relaxed time at work. Not only that, but my colleagues do too! It's a great way to talk to more people because pets are such a conversation starter. People love to come over and stroke Max if they're feeling overwhelmed. Our research shows that canine colleagues can be a huge help in tackling workplace stress and anxiety, and they've certainly helped mine".
"Allowing pets in the workplace also enables employers to offer an additional attractive benefit to employees. So many people, especially in the Millennial and Gen Z age groups, acquired a new furry friend during the pandemic. Being able to bring their dogs to work can help owners keep the costs of dog ownership down, by reducing the need for as much time spent with dog walkers or in doggy day care".
1. Research conducted by 3Gem from 25th - 27th September 2019 across 2,000 nationally representative UK adults (over 18).
About Nestlé Purina PetCare (UK & Ireland)
- Purina PetCare EMENA (Europe, Middle East, 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 125 years, Purina has been one of the pioneers in providing nutritious and palatable products made to the highest standards of quality and safety. The Purina portfolio includes many of the best-known and best-loved pet foods including Felix, Purina ONE, Gourmet and Purina Pro Plan.
- Purina's commitments go beyond the advancement of pet nutrition, providing support along the entire pet parenthood journey to further strengthen the pet-human bond. In 2016 Purina PetCare Europe launched its first set of commitments to have a positive impact on pets and society. In 2022, Purina announced its 2023 - 2030 commitments to support adoption and responsible pet ownership, help the wellbeing of vulnerable people and support the regeneration of soil and ocean ecosystems.
- A premiere global manufacturer of pet products, 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.
About Purina PetCare UK's Pets at Work Scheme
Purina PetCare UK's Pets at Work Scheme has been running since 2003 and they have created the Pets at Work Alliance in order to encourage more businesses become dog friendly. By joining the Alliance, which is completely free, Purina will support companies to become dog friendly and share a range of materials including a Pets at Work Toolkit, based on their own experiences, to help other businesses become dog friendly. The toolkit contains six easy steps to set-up a successful Pets at Work scheme, as well as health and safety advice, responsible pet ownership guidelines and education and advice on workspace requirements. To find out how they can get involved, companies or employees should read about Pets at work scheme.