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2020 Trend: Pets in the Workplace

Posted on Tue, 2019-12-10 10:12 by Martyna Mercer, Interior Designer

A key trend for 2020 is the growing importance of achieving a positive work-life balance. Creating a working environment that focuses on reducing stress is an important part of this and as recent studies suggest, companies should consider getting a pet in the office.

Major companies, such as Amazon, Google, BrewDog, Ben & Jerrys and Purina/Nestle Gatwech are leading the way, already becoming pet friendly. The thinking behind this move is to create a more productive, relaxed and enjoyable environment for their staff. Happy, relaxed staff are harder working and more productive.

Having office pets is particularly valued by younger workers. Research carried out by Nestle Gatwech found that 47% of 18-24 year-olds view bringing a pet to work as an important work perk (https://www.nestle.co.uk/en-gb/media/pressreleases/pets-at-work).

Allowing pets in the office can be a great way to bring young, fresh talent to your organisation. The modern workforce is no longer just looking for traditional benefits, such as the best salary, a corner office and a car allowance. Thinking has changed and the younger generation, in particular, are striving to achieve a work life balance; a comfortable work environment that will keep them active and they can be proud of.

Going pet friendly has been great PR for Nestle and Purina, but there have also been less obvious benefits of having dogs in the office. Odette Forbes mentions in her interview with The Guardian: “The atmosphere in the office is warmer now and more sociable,” she says. “People will stop you in the corridors to stroke your dog, so you start talking to someone in a different part of the company, who you’d never normally have spoken to, or have only encountered over email.https://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/may/18/dogs-in-office-canine-colleagues-staff-wellbeing (you can read more of the story from the Guardian on their website).

The Telegraph listed many reasons why the presence of a four-legged companion is an advantage in the workplace. Some of the key benefits include:

  • Dogs are a powerful source of social support for humans
  • Dogs encourage owners to take exercise: studies have shown that on average, dog owners walk 79% further than non-dog owners
  • If employees are allowed to bring their dogs to work, they will save money through not having to pay for a dog minder

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/pets/news-features/ten-reasons-bosses-should-embrace-bring-dog-work-day/ 

But most importantly, studies show that dogs help humans release stress.

Animalsmart.org says: ‘’Playing with or petting an animal can increase levels of the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin and decrease production of the stress hormone cortisol. Reduced stress can also benefit physical health. In a 2001 study, researchers found that pet-owning patients with high blood pressure could keep their blood pressure lower during times of mental stress than patients without pets.’’ https://animalsmart.org/species/dogs/dogs-help-reduce-stress 

So, why not go with the next big trend, acknowledge what the studies have shown and allow for your employees to bring their best friends to work with them?

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