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Biggest barrier to ‘dog-friendly’ workplaces not company culture, but required policies

Recent research commissioned by Perkbox, to celebrate last week's inaugural London Dog Week, has found that the main barrier to having dog-friendly policies at work isn’t company culture but in fact obstacles such as building the right policies for such initiatives to work.

The research, which polled employed UK adults, has found that 65% believe dogs at work support their physical and mental health by encouraging them to take short breaks from their desks. As a result, they’ve seen their productivity increase.

A further 72% think dogs are particularly useful for overcoming stress at work and are the best medicine for tackling self-confidence issues for those that struggle socialising with their colleagues encouraging them to get chatting to others.

Admittedly dogs at work do pose some challenges and UK employees know it. 68% confess they’re aware of the downsides including allergies and hygiene concerns, regardless, over a quarter (27%) think that dogs at work should be the norm anyway.

In fact, ‘dogs in the workplace’ initiatives are taken so seriously these days that 30% of Brits are currently in favour of ‘pawternity leave’ policies -  time off so that pet owners can take care of their new dog - and one in five are neither in favour or against them.

However, what’s interesting is that 60% of respondents believe that ‘dogs at work’ policies were born as a fad to attract millennials, rather than as a perk with meaningful benefits. More specifically, 70% of respondents are concerned with the ability to build the right policies and having sufficient office space to make them a reality in their company.

The truth is, it doesn’t have to be a complex procedure, which is why Perkbox has partnered with London Dog Week in an attempt to encourage a shift in these perceptions.  

Chieu Cao, Co-founder of Perkbox says: "For us at Perkbox, bringing dogs to work is just one embodiment of our value ‘it’s not a job, it’s a family’. It’s great to see dog-friendly workplaces become more commonplace, especially when they have such a positive impact on employee wellbeing. However, from our research findings, it’s clear that we still need to break with certain perceptions. We are delighted to have partnered with London Dog Week to start the conversation."

Aneka Johnson, Co-founder of London Dog Week says: "It’s great to see companies like Perkbox joining London Dog Week and promoting the benefits of dog-friendly workplaces. Dogs support our mental and physical health and provide us with happiness, helping to transform lives. With work often causing the most stress in this day and age, it’s a no brainer to make your workplace doggy friendly and provide some stress relief to your employees."

Ashleigh Smith
Article by Ashleigh Smith
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