UK office workers could 'walk' in favour of pet-friendly workspaces

To Press Releases listJun 22, 2018

boy hugging his dog and smiling at work in the office

  • New research reveals nearly half of office workers (46%) would consider changing jobs for a pet-friendly workplace1
  • Office experiment indicates dogs at work increased feelings of happiness and reduced feelings of stress
  • Study launched to celebrate Bring Your Dog to Work Day this Friday (22nd June)

UK companies should paws for thought today, with new evidence revealing nearly half of office workers would consider changing jobs in favour of pet-friendly workplaces.

To coincide with this Friday’s Bring Your Dog to Work Day, a recent survey of office workers2 reinforced the growing support for Pets at Work policies showing:

  • Over two fifths (43%) would like to see pets allowed in the office
  • 39% felt pets at work would increase their productivity
  • 50% believe it would increase their happiness
  • Workers would be prepared to stay at work a bit longer if pets were allowed in the office

In addition to the survey, a social experiment set up by Purina PetCare with consultant psychologist Honey Langcaster-James to investigate, what impact introducing dogs into the workplace has {in a real office environment}, revealed positive effects were seen on mood, stress, social interactions and employee performance.

The results showed having a furry friend by your side at work has no negative impact on productivity and suggested there are significant gains to employee wellbeing and happiness to be made.

Taking part in the experiment earlier this month, employees at the London-based head office of method, makers of ethical cleaning products, were overwhelmingly positive about hosting a dog-friendly day – and as a result bosses have confirmed they will now be introducing a full pets at work policy.

Of the day itself, method employees commented that: The day “put a big smile on my face” and “really lifted my mood this morning and made me appreciate the company I work for.” One employee said: “I think it humanises the workplace. To take time out to cuddle the dog stops you from feeling too stressed.”

Consultant Psychologist, Honey Langcaster-James said: “As a psychologist, I’m only too aware of the increased stress and pressures we face in our everyday lives. With so many companies looking to help improve employee wellness, allowing staff to bring their pet to work should definitely be considered more widely.

“Purina’s experiment with method proved to be the perfect way to look at the impact four legged visitors have on an office environment. Managers often think there are negative aspects to having pets in the workplace, but the results of this study really challenge that mind-set. On the day when there were dogs in the office, the results showed that there was no reduction on productivity whatsoever and that employee happiness and general positive feelings towards their employer and colleagues increased!”

girl holding her dog and smiling at work in the office

Andrea Kalavsky, curator of weirdness AKA European head of people at method, said: “At method we love people and pets. Bringing them together at work has created a great vibe which the team has loved. Our office now wouldn’t be the same without Hector, Peggy or Laika (our regular office dogs) who’ve quickly become part of the method family. We now encourage all our employees and visitors to bring their pets in to our office in Richmond, the Ministry of Clean, whenever they can.”

Purina PetCare UK’s Pets at Work Scheme has been running since 2003 and last year they launched a Pets at Work Toolkit, based on their own experiences, to help other businesses become dog friendly.

Calum Macrae, Regional Director for Purina UK & Ireland said: “Purina has had dogs coming into our office for the last 15 years – so we know first-hand the benefits of having pets in the workplace from helping improving wellbeing and happiness to attracting and retaining the best talent. Pets at work is increasingly sought after by employees as a valued benefit that represents a flexible and progressive workplace.

“We want to help businesses to adopt pet-friendly policies and reap the benefits by providing dedicated advice and a toolkit that helps to simplify the process. The perceived complexity of implementing a dog-friendly policy can be a barrier for some organisations but I can absolutely vouch for the fact that if the scheme is managed effectively, there are only positive benefits for businesses, employees and their dogs.”

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 visit https://www.purina.co.uk/pins/pets-at-work


END

For more information please contact:
Nestlé UK Press Office on 020 8667 6005 or e-mail nestleukpressoffice@uk.nestle.com


About Nestlé Purina PetCare

  • 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 120 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 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.
  • 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: www.purina.co.uk


About method

Founded in 2000, method is the pioneer of premium planet-friendly and design-driven home, fabric and personal care products. Formulated with naturally derived biodegradable ingredients, method cleaners put the hurt on dirt without doing harm to people, creatures or the planet. Today method can be found in more than 40,000 retail locations through North America, Europe and Asia. In 2013, method reincorporated as a public benefit corporation, codifying that its corporate governance meets the highest standard of social and environmental ethics. method, headquartered in San Francisco, is part of the people against dirty family, which also includes Ecover, the European-based line of ecological products.


About the experimental office-based research:

The research took place over the course of two days, one dog-free and the other with two pets present in the workplace. 21 participants were tested at four different time points across each of the two days using a bespoke ‘Productivity’ scale and a ‘Happiness at Work’ scale. They were asked to rate how productive they’d been during the past fifteen minutes and how they were feeling both in terms of general mood and happiness, towards their employer and towards their colleagues. A qualitative study also gave participants the opportunity to express their views on pets at work in full and their responses were analysed using Thematic Analysis methodology. Data was collected by Purina and subsequently analysed by Consultant Psychologist Honey Langcaster-James BSc MSc PG Dip MBPsS (www.HoneyLangcaster-James.com).




1 Research was conducted by Opinium from 8th-12th 2018 across 2,009 nationally representative UK adults (over 18).
2 As above.