National Take Your Dog to Work Day is June 23, and Purina has been supportive of this “howliday” for two decades. The goals of Purina’s #PetsatWork program include demonstrating that life is better with pets and that having pets in the workplace is truly beneficial. According to a recent study:
Employees in pet-friendly workplaces agree: Adding pets to the mix makes going to work more enjoyable:
- For workers at pet-friendly employers, having pets at work is near the top of the list of most valuable work benefits, and is seen as a top-tier potential driver for morale, productivity, and retention.
- Eight in ten people in pet-friendly workplaces also say that having a pet at work makes them feel happier, relaxed, and more sociable.
Pet-friendly workplaces are more likely to be found at smaller companies with younger employees.
- Employees in pet-friendly workplaces trend slightly younger (two-thirds are under the age of 45, compared to half under 45 in workplaces where pets are not allowed).
- Smaller companies tend to be more pet-friendly: 83 percent of pet-friendly employees work for companies with fewer than 1,000 people.
- Companies in the tech industry are most likely to allow pets at work (17 percent are pet-friendly).
Pet-friendly workplaces also align with higher rates of pet ownership, especially dogs.
- Most people (about nine in ten) in pet-friendly workplaces own pets.
- More than four in five pet owners in pet-friendly workplaces own a dog, while nearly three in five have at least one cat.
Workplaces with pets are viewed as happier, more exciting, and more cutting-edge.
- Employees in pet-friendly workplaces are nearly twice as likely as those in workplaces where pets are not allowed to be “very satisfied” with their work environment (63 percent compared to 35 percent).
- For people in pet-friendly workplaces, the biggest descriptors for their workplace are “friendly” (47 percent), “productive” (35 percent), and “happy” (30 percent).
- Employees in workplaces where pets are not allowed also describe their workplace as “productive” (38 percent) and “friendly” (34 percent) but are more likely to say it’s “challenging” (29 percent).
- Pet-friendly employees are also more likely to say their workplace is “exciting” (20 percent), “innovative” (17 percent), and “inspiring” (15 percent).
Most people in pet-friendly workplaces have brought their pets to work, and some bring their pets in every day.
- Three in four pet owners in pet-friendly workplaces have brought their pets to work.
- Of this group, more than half of the dog owners bring their dog at least once a week; 20 percent bring their dog every day.
- And, among cat owners in pet-friendly workplaces, a comparable percentage (19 percent) bring their cat daily. Yes, cats can go to work, though all cat owners are aware that we work for them.
- Cat owners in pet-friendly workplaces who haven’t brought their furry friend cite predictable reasons, notably the need for a litter box (55 percent).
- Pet owners in pet-friendly workplaces are most likely to bring their pet to lunch with coworkers (70 percent) or a work party (70 percent), and half are likely to bring them to a meeting with their boss (51 percent).
One in three people in workplaces that are not pet-friendly wish they could bring their pet to work.
- One-third of people in non-pet-friendly workplaces want a pet policy.
For starters, we all know pets are good for us. Having the cutest puppy at your desk might be the best defense against a hollering boss. Who can be angry at you if you have the cutest puppy ever? At the end of the day, this survey indicates life at work is better with pets too, enhancing the spirit of the workplace. And, though this wasn’t determined by the survey, it seems retention is higher where pets are at work as well. If people are more content, they’ll be less likely to seek employment elsewhere.
More with Dr. Kurt Venator, chief medical officer at Purina, regarding the upside of taking pets to work.