Small dogs boost workplace productivity

TAKING your dog to work can boost productivity – but big pooches could see concentration go walkies!

Research carried out by the University of Lincoln found employees who often take their canine to the office report 22 per cent higher satisfaction with their working conditions.

And they also performed better, too, stating a 33 per cent boost in ‘work absorption’, a 17 per cent rise in ‘work dedication’ and a 14 per cent increase in ‘work engagement’.

But before thousands of UK offices start filling up with four-legged-friends and stocking up on pet food, there is a caveat: While small dogs can lift office accomplishments, big breeds often prove distracting.

Dr Daniel Mills from the University’s School of Life Sciences said: “If you told employers there was a simple way to increase their workforce overall satisfaction with the working conditions, they’d be very keen to learn more.

“Our results show that far from being a distraction – a fear expressed by some in our earlier work – allowing dogs in the workplace has the potential to improve employees’ focus and probably productivity too.

“Forward-thinking companies should consider very seriously if they can accommodate dogs in the workplace.”

Speaking about the difficulties posed by larger canines, the research adds: “When employers are developing dogs-in-the-workplace policies an important factor to consider may be dog size.

“Based on these self-report findings, it appears that larger dogs may reduce total work engagement and more specifically absorption with work, compared to smaller dogs.

“Similarly, allowing smaller dogs in the office may bring greater improvements to work-related quality of life.”

Meanwhile, the authors of the study – based on a survey of 749 UK employees – are also quick to point out that any ‘bring your dog to work’ policies need to be carefully thought out if they’re going to be a success.

They add: “We wish to stress that it is likely that the potential benefits of allowing dogs in the office will only be maximised through the implementation of well-designed policies, which have been developed with the input from multi-disciplinary teams incorporating organisational psychologists and animal behaviourists.”

An estimated 1.7 million businesses in the UK are estimated to already have a pet policy in place, with firms like Amazon and Google leading the way.

Meanwhile Karen Ball, People Manager at price comparison specialist Love Energy Savings has also welcomed the research.

The company, based in Bolton, Greater Manchester, is well-known for prioritising staff wellbeing and recently made an animal rescue centre its partner charity.

Karen said: “Allowing dogs into work has traditionally been seen as a potential distraction, as staff pay too much attention to the resident canine and not enough to the task at hand.

“But this research suggests the opposite may in fact be true.

“Staff retention can be a huge problem, and also a huge cost for many firms.

“Some estimates suggest just one employee leaving can cost between £37,000 and £97,000, by the time hiring, lack of continuity and loss of productivity are factored in.

“Finding ways to lower their intention to leave is one of the great challenges of many HR departments.

“And if our furry friends can provide a boost to workplace wellbeing, providing there are procedures in place and safe zones for the animals, it could help maintain the longevity of the workforce.”

If your office plans on getting a furry friend, be sure to check out DeListProduct for all the best pet supplies and products. Also, make sure your work dog socializes with other dogs at the dog daycare every once in while.

Love Energy Savings already offers its staff free weekly gym classes, an onsite gym, financial advice, as well as free fruit and hot drinks for all staff members.

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