Next Friday, June 22, will mark the 20th celebration of Take Your Dog To Work Day, an annual celebration of the joys and benefits of having pets in the workplace created by Pet Sitters International (PSI).
(Don’t have a dog? Don’t worry: June 18-22 is Take Your Pet To Work Week and Monday, June 18, is Take Your Cat To Work Day.)
Since creating the TYDTWD event in 1999, PSI has encouraged employers across the U.S. and around the globe to open their doors to employees’ dogs for one summer Friday each year to celebrate the great companions dogs make and promote their adoptions. To make it easier, PSI offers a free event toolkit that provides instructions for planning your company’s event, as well as employee participation forms, and a sample “dogs at work” policy.
Should welcoming dogs (and other pets) to the workplace be more than a one-day event? A recent PSI survey indicates that pet-friendly workplace policies are considered a benefit by pet-owning employees. These employees also feel that pets have a positive impact on the work environment.
PSI surveyed more than 1,000 pet owners on pet-friendly workplace policies and benefits and found:
- 78 percent of the responding pet owners considered a pet-friendly policy an employee benefit.
- 82 percent indicated they felt pets help reduce stress in the workplace.
- 63 percent indicated they felt pets in the workplace would increase interaction and collaboration between co-workers.
- Additionally, 51 percent of the pet owners said that if choosing between two potential employers (equal on all other accounts), a pet-friendly policy would be a deciding factor.
“These results are not surprising as we hear these same sentiments year after year from businesses that participate in Take Your Dog To Work Day®,” said Patti J. Moran, PSI president and founder. “Even companies that were apprehensive about allowing dogs at work report how well received the event is and look forward to participating again.”
Employers Benefit, Too
A Mars Petcare survey of 1,000 employees and 2,000 employers has uncovered how much people value the opportunity to have their dogs with them at work, the growing desire from those who don’t have the option, as well as the benefits of a pet-friendly workplace for employers.
“We’ve seen firsthand how having pets in the workplace helps break down barriers between co-workers and creates a more collaborative environment in our own pet-friendly offices,” said Jam Stewart, vice president of corporate affairs at Mars Petcare. “Two years ago, we launched our BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ initiative, with the mission of creating a world where pets are welcome in more places. This survey uncovered valuable information that backs up our own findings — most notably that more than two thirds of employees wish they could bring their dog to work. We hope this information will inspire more companies to open their offices to pets.”
With an increasingly competitive market, employers are striving to enhance their employee benefits to attract new talent and minimize turnover. One way employers are doing this is by becoming dog friendly. In fact, 87 percent of employers say being dog friendly helps them retain and attract more talent. The ability to bring their dog to work could be the deciding factor in choosing a company, with 59 percent of employees saying they would choose an employer who is dog friendly over one who is not.
More companies are starting to open their doors to furry friends, but not everyone is inclusive quite yet: The survey revealed that less than half of employees work in dog friendly offices. For those who are able to bring their dogs to work, more than 40 percent maximize the time spent with their furry friend by bringing them to the office every day. If given the chance, more than half of employees say they would bring their dog to work at least once a week.
If you worry that your dog is lonely while you’re at work, you’re not alone: Almost half of employees feel the same way, according to the survey. Other top employee concerns focus on the basic needs of their pooch: More than a third worry their dog needs a walk, while 35 percent are concerned their dog is hungry or thirsty. Encouraging employees to bring their dogs to work decreases these worries by allowing them to see how their furry friend is doing and taking a break to walk them when needed.
Interested in ways to make your facility more pet friendly? Download the Mars Petcare “Pets Work at Work” toolkit.