(BPT) - Enticing workers to return to the office after months, or even years, of working from home or in a hybrid model is proving to be tricky for some businesses. Incentives to return to the office have been met with mixed reviews, but there’s one perk that may prove to be very worthwhile — allowing employees to bring their pets to the office.
Research sponsored by Purina has shed light on the many benefits that dogs can bring to the workplace. The University of Lincoln study, which surveyed nearly 750 employees, found that bringing dogs to work can have positive impacts on employee well-being, job satisfaction, and workplace culture. The study reported that employees who often take their dog to work report 22% higher satisfaction with their working conditions, revealing four key reasons to include Fido (or Fluffy) in the office culture:
Better Work Engagement
Contrary to the belief that taking dogs to the office could be distracting, the study found that individuals who often or sometimes brought their dogs to work were more engaged with their work than those who never did. Specifically, those who often brought their dogs to work showed higher levels of dedication, absorption, and total work engagement.
The study found that individuals who often brought their dogs to work had significantly lower intentions to leave than those who sometimes or never brought their dog to the office. This suggests that having dogs at work could increase employees' loyalty to their organization and reduce the risk of turnover.
The study also found that bringing dogs to work could increase employees' friendship acuity. Individuals who often brought their dogs to work reported significantly higher friendship acuity than those who never did. This means that having dogs at work could help employees build stronger relationships with their colleagues.
Higher Quality of Work Life
Finally, the study found that bringing dogs to work could significantly improve employees' work-related quality of life. Individuals who often brought their dogs to work reported higher levels of general well-being and a better home-work interface than those who sometimes or never did.
While the research provides solid evidence that bringing dogs to work can have significant benefits for both employees and organizations, there are also benefits to the dogs. Dogs left alone for long periods of time can suffer from separation anxiety and lack physical and mental stimulation. By having the dogs in the office, it can release stress for both the owner and the pet, strengthening their bond.
It is important to note that the benefits of having dogs at work may vary depending on the organizational culture, the type of work, and the specific needs of employees. Therefore, organizations should carefully consider the pros and cons of having dogs at work and implement policies that are in the best interest of their employees and the organization.
The pet experts at Purina, which has welcomed dogs and cats to its St. Louis headquarters for more than two decades, has put together a free toolkit to help create pet-friendly workplaces.