It is estimated that 44% of UK households have a pet, with the vast majority of this percentage opting to have a pedigree friend.
In recent years, many businesses have realised the love we have for our dogs can work as a company benefit. Brew Dog, for example, has introduced Puppy Parental Leave, UKFast has dog kennels on site and the likes of Google, Amazon and Pets at Home allow you to bring your dog to work on a daily basis.
But is there any benefit to allowing the four-legged friend in the workplace?
According to a study by the Health and Safety Executive, 12.5 million working days are lost each year due to stress, depression and anxiety, a figure that has risen 7% from the previous year.
On the flip side, accordingly to research by Swapaw, 88% of dog owners said they feel happier and have a better quality of life thanks to their pets and 30% of dog owners admit that their dog helped them overcome depression or loneliness.
Having a dog friendly workplace encourages interaction and socialisation between employees who may not usually cross paths or engage with one another. Stress can be reduced as colleagues can have a cuddle and a play with the office dog(s) when feeling anxious. Exercise is also encouraged as a result, as employees can go for a lunch time stroll with the pooch, taking time away from their desk, getting some fresh air and come back feeling rejuvenated as a result.
The Blue Cross interviewed companies that allow dogs into the office and observed that more than 90% of the organisations surveyed noticed a positive change in the working environment. One in two businesses noticed a decrease in absenteeism, 56% said bringing their dog to work improved work relations and 67% said it improved staff morale.
At Forward Role, we have a number of clients that have an office dog, and often find it’s one of the biggest appealing factors to potential candidates. In fact, 16% of millennials would give up employer funded perks (such as paid gym membership) for a workplace dog and 42% of 18-34 year olds would like a dog-friendly office.
When I brought my dog, Charlie the cavapoo, into the Forward Role headquarters, a joyful buzz was certainly created. Despite the destruction of every stress ball in the office and his great adventure to check out the office above us, he played, cuddled and made everyone in the office very happy. Here he is all ready for his day at work...