Staff look to work ‘Ca-nine to five’ as popularity of office pets grows

Nov 28, 2017

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But workers are divided on the idea, with 16% of employees up in arms over the idea of animal companions.

Employers are allowing animals in the workplace in greater numbers because of HR trends and in the hope of attracting the highest calibre of new recruits.

Recent studies have shown that up to 28% of UK workers are more likely to apply for a job if pets are already in the office or if colleagues are allowed to bring their pets to work.

The survey by online job board CV-Library found that when it comes to the personal effect of animals in the workplace, there is clear evidence of a “gender pet gap”. According to the data:

  • Nearly half (46%) of women believe that having a pet at work eases stress and helps relaxation, compared to 29% of men;
  • 21% of women believes it makes them feel more friendly or approachable, compared to 14% of men;
  • 40% of men accuse pets of being distracting in the workplace, in contrast to 30% of women;
  • Nearly one-fifth of men (19%) go as far to call pets annoying in the workplace.

The result of the ‘gender pet gap’ led to 12% of men admitting to complaining about pets at work, in stark contrast to virtually no female complaints (1%).

Dogs rule the workplace, making up 87% of all ‘professional’ pets. Cats are clearly an unpopular option at work with only 5% admitting to having a feline in the workplace. Rabbits are the third most common workplace pet, at 2%.

Across the UK, London, with its trendy, ‘mutt-ropolitan’ co-working spaces, leads pet allowance in the office with 27% of workers admitting to having them in the office. The South East (24%), Wales (22%) and Northern Ireland (22%) follow close behind.

The East Midlands and the North East are the keenest to keep pets at home, with 91% and 87% of workplaces saying no.

In Scotland, one in five workplaces allow pets in the office, with 7% confirming that they bring their furry friend along with them.

A further 14% claim that while it is allowed, no one actually does it and it appears that Scotland is a nation divided on the issue as 37% believe the presence of a pet is a distraction to them while 35% feel that it makes them happy and eases their stress. 

In general, nearly half of Brits would like to see more workplaces allowing pets, but 20% suggest that strict policies from HR should be in place.

With bringing animals into the office becoming a growing trend, employers should sit up and take notice. 28% of Brits suggested that they would be more likely to apply for a job if they have, or were allowed to bring in, furry friends in their working environment.

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, says: “With one in two households owning a pet in the UK, it is clear to see the attraction and convenience of bringing them with you to work.”

“Our new research shines a light on the latest HR trend that many businesses are implementing to stand out from the crowd and attract the very best recruits. It seems to be working, with women being more favourable to the trend.

"As long as clear protocols are in place for pet ownership, it is set to have a positive benefit to employees and those around them.” 

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