The majority of the UK workforce supports having dogs in the workplace, new research has found, citing benefits such as boosting morale, alleviating stress and contributing to a friendly working environment.
The study by the Kennel Club, published to coincide with Bring Your Dog to Work Day (24 June), reveals that allowing dogs into the workplace can have a positive impact on employers and employees - particularly those in the Millennial and Generation Z age brackets.
Based on surveys of some 2,000 general consumers and dog owner respondents, the research reveals that Millennials (ages 26-41) - who make up a considerable portion of the workforce - were the strongest supporters of dog-friendly policies. Of these, more than half (59 per cent) agreed that workplaces would benefit from being dog-friendly, followed by 57 per cent of those aged 16-26 (Generation Z).
As well as boosting morale and alleviating stress, the respondents also said that having dogs in the office would have a beneficial impact on health and wellbeing by encouraging people to take breaks from their computer screens. Interestingly, 45 per cent of those aged 16-24 said that having dog friendly policies makes a company more attractive for prospective dog-owning job seekers.
Kennel Club chief executive Mark Beazley said: “Our research shows that welcoming our four-legged friends to the office can have an incredibly positive impact among staff. Our canine colleagues help to boost morale, encourage socialisation between employees, and it has been scientifically proven that dogs can lower stress, heart rate and blood pressure. It can also provide a great opportunity for owners to socialise their dogs, and prevent any negative welfare impacts of being left at home.
As part of Bring your Dog to Work Day, the Kennel Club is calling on businesses to consider the benefits of 'open for dogs'. As part of the camapign, it has published a bank of downloadable resources on its website for those who wish to become dog-friendly.
Mr Beazley added: “Of course, owners need to ensure that their dogs are ‘office-ready’, through making sure they are happy, confident and well-trained, as well as factoring in their needs with regular breaks and exercise throughout the day.”