Millenials turn to dog-friendly workplaces to create paws-itive work-life balance

Millennials are determined to increase their work-life balance as new research from Purina PetCare finds that 42% of those aged 18-34 across the UK would like or enjoy a dog-friendly workplace.

Companies looking for an edge in attracting the nation’s top millennial talent might want to consider dog-friendly workplace policies given that a quarter (24%) of millennials say this would make a company more attractive to them.

Millennial employees are even willing to give up some of their current work perks to get pooches through the door; unsurprising since 74% of them can see the benefits of dogs at work. Over a quarter (28%) would give up free office yoga and 16% would give up gym membership to allow four-legged friends in the office.

Fortunately, UK businesses are catching-up fast. More than a quarter (28%) of employers would like to put a dog-friendly policy in place while 27% already have one. Nearly all (96%) of UK employers with dog-friendly offices have seen the benefits, with nearly half (46%) saying the policy created a friendlier atmosphere, while 41% found it calmed and de-stressed the office.

Over a third of millennials (36%) either have no reservations about having dogs at work or feel that any potential problems would be outweighed by the huge positives. Those positives are considerable; two-fifths (41%) of working millennials believe that having dogs around the office would boost morale.

Purina has launched the Pets at Work (PAW) Alliance to encourage firms to become dog-friendly so more businesses, employees and dogs can enjoy the benefits. There is a PAW toolkit with six easy steps for a successful Pets at Work scheme, as well as health and safety advice, responsible pet ownership guidelines and education and advice on workspace requirements. The toolkit is based on Purina’s own experience creating schemes across Europe and research with multiple businesses about the simplest strategy to bring in a dog-friendly policy and reaping the benefits. All of this makes a dog-friendly policy easier to adopt and cost-effective, with the goal being for Purina to help 200 organisations open their doors to pets by 2020.

Purina Human Resources Director, Paul Steadman commented:

“At Purina we believe that people and pets are better together – especially at work. From our own experience, we know that pet-friendly workplaces lead to a whole range of positive benefits such as higher employee engagement, talent retention, greater wellbeing, higher performance and productivity, increased inspiration and decreased stress. Moreover dogs are by nature sociable and affectionate. Coming to work offers them the opportunity to spend more time with their owners and to socialise with other dogs and colleagues.

“We want to help other UK businesses to adopt pet-friendly policies and reap the benefits by providing a toolkit that helps to simplify the process. The perceived complexity of implementing a dog-friendly policy can be a barrier for some organisations and so how to help businesses of any size to introduce their own scheme has been one of the key factors in developing our Pets at Work toolkit.”

Manchester-based activation agency Rapport have had great success with their dog-friendly offices.

“Having the option of bringing a dog into work has made it possible for me to become a dog owner. It means the world to me to be able to incorporate my dog into my work life,” comments Hannah Cross-Phillipson, Creative Lead at Rapport. “Pet Fridays are a highlight in our office week, especially for those who don’t own dogs and now get to have their weekly dose of doggy love. Having a dog around lifts the mood and energy in the office. It also forces us to get out and enjoy some fresh air throughout the day.”

Brits are encouraged to support the Pets at Work initiative by sharing their own #PetsAtWork stories on social media and downloading the toolkit at: https://www.purina.co.uk/pins/pets-at-work.