Millennials are driving a pet-friendly office boom in London, with firms introducing new policies on office animals to attract the best talent.
New research has found 42 per cent of 18-34 year-olds would like or enjoy a dog-friendly workplace, and businesses are doing their all to accommodate their needs.
A quarter of millennials say companies with dog-friendly policies are more attractive to them, and a massive 74 per cent of them say they see the benefits of dogs at work.
The Purina research revealed more than a quarter of employers would like to put a dog-friendly policy in place while 27 per cent already have one.
Nearly all (96 per cent) of UK employers with dog-friendly offices have seen the benefits, with nearly half saying the policy created a friendlier atmosphere.
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 socialize 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.”
Over a third of millennials 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 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.
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.”