Pet-Friendly Work Environments Benefit Dogs and Humans Alike
A new study from Banfield Pet Hospital in Portland, Oregon, confirms what many of us have already largely suspected: a workplace that allows dogs makes for a better working environment.
In a survey of more than 1,000 employees and 200 human resource decision makers, Banfield found that the benefits of a dog-friendly office extended to humans, canines, and companies alike.
“Overwhelmingly, responses indicate that pet-friendly workplaces are viewed as highly positive, boosting morale, contributing to talent retention and providing employers with a competitive edge in the recruitment process,” the study’s conclusion reads. “Survey respondents even report that they believe more people would adopt pets if their companies offered pet-friendly office policies.”
Additionally, the findings suggest that bringing pets into work can result in “reduced stress, greater work-life balance, and decreased guilt over leaving pets at home.” That’s good news for dogs, too: some 4% of the country’s 55 million dogs are said to suffer from separation anxiety, which may be relieved by companionship at the office.
The study was released just in time for Take Your Dog to Work Day on June 24, an annual event initiated by Pet Sitters International back in 1999. “The event encourages employers to experience the joys of pets in the workplace for one day to support their local pet community,” the organization’s website says. “PSI feels that through the events, non-pet owners are able to witness the special bond their coworkers have with their pets firsthand and be encouraged to adopt a new best friend of their own.”
Additionally, a one-day pet experiment might also stimulate more companies to adopt dog-friendly policies throughout the year. Banfield’s study noted that, significantly, the majority of companies that benefited from animals in the office did not have a formal pet policy in place.
Whether it’s for a day, a week, or all year round, pets in the office are becoming increasingly common, and Banfield aims to continue the trend. “We hope this research will broaden the conversation around pet-friendly workplaces and add further momentum to this movement.”