Could dogs in the office be the key to wellbeing and productivity?



By Cal Lee, head of Workthere

In an age where wellness and productivity are at the top of the workplace agenda, ensuring staff are happy has never been more important. There are several methods that employers have adopted to engage staff and encourage wellbeing from lunchtime yoga sessions and subsidised lunches to climbing walls and creative spaces. One trend in particular that seems to be finding its way back to popularity is having a dog in the workplace. Workthere research* shows that almost half of UK office workers (44 percent) think having a dog in the office would be beneficial to productivity. The study of 2,000 UK office workers also revealed that a third (34 percent) of respondents thought that having a dog in the office would increase their happiness, and a quarter (25 percent) thought it would improve their work/life balance.

The younger generation of workers are especially in favour of having a canine companion in the workplace with almost half (43 percent) of respondents aged 18-24 saying that they would be more attracted to a workplace that allowed dogs, with one in five of respondents currently in jobs that allow dogs.

In contrast, while the poll showed that the older generation of 45-54 year olds are the most likely age range to own a dog (41 percent), 80 percent of them have never worked somewhere where they are allowed to bring their dog to work.

When it comes to the great gender divide, our research shows that 32 percent of women are more likely to be attracted to a dog-friendly office compared to 24% of men, and 80 percent of men who said they would be less attracted to a dog-friendly office said they think that having a canine colleague is inappropriate (versus 64 percent of women).

Whilst having a dog in the office may not be for everyone, it is clear that some do feel it will boost their overall productivity, with the younger generation in particular being more attracted to the idea. It could therefore be a consideration for employers to bear in mind looking forward.

We have already seen a real blurring of lines between domestic and traditional office space as staff continually seek a better work and life balance. With the co-working and serviced office sector continually seeing the boundaries pushed in terms of offering the ultimate in flexible and mindful working spaces, could this inclusion of dogs be part of this looking forward?

Workthere has launched the search for the nation’s top office dog, to see the entries so far, or submit your own entry, please click here

*Research conducted on behalf of Workthere and Savills in October 2017. All statistics, unless otherwise stated, are from a survey of 2,000 UK office workers through Onepoll.