In a bid to reduce stress levels, retain precious staff and improve productivity, many companies are introducing our canine friends into their offices to work their magic.
Where free gym memberships, snacks and vending machines stood at the vicinity of most business’ fringe benefits before, pets are now somewhat proving to be as motivating to employees, at a fraction of the previous cost.
In a survey from Banfield pet hospital, which included 200 Human Resources Decision Makers and over 1,000 professionals from a variety of industries and company sizes, 70 per cent of those questioned responded in agreement that having animals in their offices would benefit working conditions.
On top of this, over half of the employees who worked for businesses with no pet permission stated that they would feel more obliged to continue at their current company if animals were introduced to the workplace.
Pets at work can also benefit those who rarely stray from their desks to take breaks, grab a coffee or simply to clear their head. There have been many cases of research showing that taking regular breaks during the day improves an employee’s productivity – and what better way to do it than giving your favourite pooch a hard-to-resist belly rub.
As you would expect, there are also inevitably employees against the idea of having pets at work. Those with allergies, or perhaps a fear and dislike towards most peoples’ four-legged friends, are understandably frustrated with the new schemes.
But fear not, as every company will implement its own policy in line with pet permission to ensure the safety and well being of its employees and clients. In most cases dogs must be fully vaccinated, kept on a lead and behave accordingly if they are allowed in the workplace.
Some companies, including Nestle have taken the necessary precautions to the PAW scheme. As a safeguard, dogs must undertake a probationary period of three months before they are allowed to enter the offices permanently.
And to further combat claims that pets may damage the company’s liability insurance, Nestle ensure that their employees source third-party liability claims, as well as offering free in-house vetting and a cleaner on call to handle any potential accidents.
Others such as Amazon even offer an off-leash park for its 2,000 registered pet owners to walk their animals, and have installed water fountains at dog height to accommodate for our much-loved canines.
With many businesses operating in a high-stress environment, those in favour of pet permission at work certainly have a strong case. Virginia Commonwealth University strengthened the case in 2012, when a study found that stress levels of employees had fallen dramatically due to having dogs in their offices.
The sheer joy, comfort and arguably medicinal power of dogs is leading to a surge of businesses in the UK allowing them at work, as it seems companies cannot fault the benefit of these fuzzy pick-me-ups on the moral of their employees