Procurement · 9 November 2017

One in five UK workplaces now allow pets in the office

Animals are thought to make for happier working environments
Animals are thought to make for happier working environments

Britain’s employers are increasingly allowing pets in the office, with one in five UK workplaces now open to staff bringing pets in from home.

According to new research from CV Library, business owners have become more accepting of the potential benefits pets can have on employee wellbeing and workplace culture.

As many as a fifth of workplaces now allow workers to bring pets in the office with them, however a similar proportion (22 per cent) of employees have complained when colleagues’ furry friends appear.

A survey from CV Library revealed that female staff were overwhelmingly more in favour of bringing pets to work than their male colleagues.

Some 12 per cent of men have complained when they’ve seen pets in the office, as opposed to just one per cent of women. And, whilst 40 per cent of men see pets as a distraction at work, just 30 per cent of women feel the same.

Almost half of women believe having pets in the office eases stress and helps people to relax, compared with only 29 per cent of men. Meanwhile, 21 per cent of female staff view pets as making their fellow workers more approachable, whereas only 14 per cent of men do.

CV Library founder Lee Biggins said that business owners could begin to consider relaxing their workplace policies around pets. He added: “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.”

With bringing animals into the workplace becoming a growing trend, the findings suggest UK employers should be taking more notice. Some 28 per cent of job seekers would be more likely to apply for a role if their workplace allowed them to bring pets in the office, the research revealed.

Biggins went on to say: “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 favorable to the trend.”

Dogs were overwhelmingly found to be the pet people most wanted to bring with them to work, making up 87 per cent of all pets in the office. Cats were a far less popular option, with just five per cent of respondents claiming they’d had a cat in their office, whilst two per cent had welcomed rabbits.

Throughout the UK, London leads the way in terms of workplace pets, with 27 per cent of workers in the capital claiming to have had pets in their office. The South East of England (24 per cent), Wales (22 per cent) and Northern Ireland (22 per cent) all follow closely.

Staff in the East Midlands and North East of England appear the most likely to keep their pets at home. The research showed that 91 per cent and 87 per cent of bosses in those areas respectively have told workers to leave their pets at home.

Biggins concluded: “With one in two households owning a pet in the UK, it’s clear to see the attraction and convenience of bringing them with you to work.”

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Fred Heritage was previously deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London.

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