Studies show that employees who bring pets to work have fewer signs of stress. With that in mind, Facility Executive’s parent company Group C Media decided to hold its own Take Your Dog To Work Day this past week. (The official 17th annual Take Your Dog To Work Day won’t take place until Friday, June 24, 2016, but we couldn’t wait that long!)
Our normal office crew was increased by four furry friends — Amber, Calvin, Ernie and Molly — and despite having never met each other and being of a variety of ages, breeds, and sizes, our canine colleagues got along very well. They shared treats and toys, did a bit of friendly wrestling, went for walks outside, and even took a few naps without a growl or a whine. Getting everyone to sit still for a photo was a bit more challenging, as you can see!
At the end of the day, fun was had by all, and it was a nice change of pace especially in the doldrums of a New Jersey winter. But besides the obvious fun factor, do pets in the workplace really pose any benefit?
Purina recently partnered with the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine to conduct a survey of 750 respondents to get a better understanding of how people felt about pets in the workplace. Here are the results:
- Almost two out of three employees agree pets should be allowed in the workplace if there is a general consensus among employees
- 85 percent of employees of companies with pets in the office say that pets at work policies are beneficial
- 72 percent of employees said that their jobs currently do not allow pets in the workplace
- More than half of those who want pets allowed in the office are willing to spearhead efforts to make their workplaces pet friendly
“The relationship humans and animals share is dynamic and over the years it has been shown that the bond can be beneficial to the well-being of both,” said Dr. Sharon Fooshee Grace, clinical professor at the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine. “Through this survey, we now have a real opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the human-animal bond and how to maximize the potential of the special relationships shared between people and pets.”
Not surprisingly, Purina is a big proponent of pets at work policies.
“At Purina, we believe that pets and people are better together – whether at home or at work,” said Dr. Kurt Venator, a Purina veterinarian. “As pet lovers and owners, we are passionate about the Pets at Work movement and encourage our associates to bring their pets to work every day so they can experience the benefits, including exercise from a dog walk during lunch break or having a calming companion nearby during stressful times. This is why we see hundreds of pets at our St. Louis campus every week.”
Purina is supporting other employers in the Pets at Work movement by developing resources to help them become more pet-friendly, including an Employer Toolkit with tips and documents to help employers implement a pets at work program. The toolkit includes an etiquette guide, office checklist, and an authorization and release form, among other helpful resources.
Purina has also provided pet lovers with their own Employee Toolkit to help encourage facility managers and employers to embrace pets in the workplace and recognize the positive impacts it can have on employees and the overall business. Employees can get access to tips, articles, printable guidelines, and a petition to help make their workplace pet friendly.
“Having pets walking through our offices every day makes for a warmer, friendlier environment at Purina, and we believe it helps with our productivity,” said Dr. Venator. “We realize it won’t work for every company and every pet owner, but we encourage other companies to try it and see for themselves how bringing pets to work can be a real benefit – for pets and their owners.”
As for our crew, we’re already looking forward to welcoming even more of our furry friends to the workplace at our next Take Your Dog To Work Day!