We’ve spoken before about the surprising benefits of pets at work, with various studies highlighting how the presence of animals can actually cause a reduction in stress levels and a rise in productivity and overall happiness amongst the workforce. Well it seems that employers in the UK are starting to recognise the positive influence of animal companionship in the working environment as a new survey conducted by online job board CV-Library has found that as many as one-in-five UK business now allow pets in the office.

While nearly half of Brits in general would like to see more companies allowing pets in the workplace, with 28% of Brits suggesting that they’d be more likely to apply for a job if animals were allowed in the working environment, 22% disagree and have in fact previously complained about their presence.

Despite the generally-receptive attitude of Brits towards pets in the office, there is a clear difference in employee attitudes across different regions of the country. Workers in London are most in favour of animals in the office with 27% admitting to bringing their pet(s) to work. Following closely behind are the South East (24%), Wales (22%), and Northern Ireland (22%). At the other end of the scale, those in the East Midlands and the North East are most reluctant to allow pets in the office, with 91% and 87% of workplaces refusing respectively.

There is also an obvious difference in opinion between genders, as 46% of women believe that having a pet at work eases stress and helps relaxation compared to just 29% of men. 21% of women also believe animals make them more friendly and/or approachable at work, while this is only true for 14% of men.

The vast majority of complaints regarding pets at work also seem to come from men (12% of British men > 1% of British women), with 40% of male respondents citing their presence as a distraction, compared to 30% of women, and 19% of men going so far as to describe pets in the workplace as “annoying”.

Across the board however, 20% suggest that strict HR policies should be in place.

For those curious about the favoured pet of UK offices, dogs remain man’s (or in this case predominantly woman’s) best friend and make up 87% of all workplace pets. Cats come in second place with a much lower 5%, while rabbits follow in third with 2%.

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, said of the survey’s results, “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.

“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.”

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor as he continues to expand his horizons.
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