Something for the weekend: If you are not sharing a pod with a four-legged colleague right now (25 June) you may be missing out on some serious pooch power to boost your productivity and wellbeing.
Yes, today, offices around the UK are echoing to the sound of “oohs” and “aaahs”, and the occasional yap and bark, as employees round up their hounds for the UK’s annual Bring Your Dog to Work Day.
But this workplace doggy fest is not just about indulging staff’s pet obsessions. Bring Your Dog to Work Day has proven benefits that employers would be barking mad to miss out on.
According to research by Central Michigan University, allowing staff to bring their furry friends into the office builds trust, team spirit and collaboration. And while there may be the occasional pause in the day’s labours for a bit of playtime, the study also found that a bit of puppy love in the workplace actually increases productivity, by reducing stress levels and increasing employees’ sense of wellbeing.
With around 17.9 million working days lost each year in the UK as a result of stress, anxiety, and depression, encouraging staff to share their furry bundle of fun with colleagues can also help reduce anxiety levels and boost mental resilience, according to research by pet food firm Purina.
Sadly, despite the likes of Nestle, Google, Amazon, Ben and Jerry and BrewDog all allowing staff to bring in their pets, only 8% of UK employees are permitted to do so, according to research by Reed.co.uk. However, the likes of Cruella Corp and De Vil and Partners could find that policy costly in terms of retention, with the ever increasing trend among Millennials to own a merry mutt.
In addition, with staff having spent more time with their pets at home during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic lockdowns and embracing pooch power, those enterprises offering staff the option to bring their furry friends into the office is one cost-effective way of boosting employee engagement and retention levels.
However, fresh dog food firm Butternut Box warns employers to follow a few key rules to ensure the day goes well. Make sure pets are vaccinated, flea-free, that they are not aggressive and – perhaps most importantly – that they are potty trained. And finally, check out your staff for dog allergies.
Here at Employee Benefits we salute Bring Your Dog to Work Day because we’re all for a bit of pooch power. We find there’s never a ruff day in the office when our pawsome pups are there to help bring the ultimutt in wellbeing, productivity and engagement.