Corporate wellbeing: When animals come to the office
Among pet owners, all of them have already dreamt at least once of being able to take their faithful companion with them to the office. This is a more common practice than is commonly believed and there is no formal prohibition on this point in French legislation.
In addition, according to several studies, the presence of an animal at work would benefit the company’s life.
In France, Joblift has listed 15 million job offers published over the last two years; of these only 300 were open to animals in 2018. In two years, companies claiming to be “dog-friendly” or “animal-friendly” have increased by 40%.
In Germany, the practice has become more democratic within companies and is gradually becoming a norm. At the German e-commerce giant Zalando, our loyal companions are more than welcome. And for good reason, in the company’s headquarters in Berlin, 108 dogs are present every day accompanied by their owners. This cohabitation is made possible in particular by the quality of the education provided by their masters, any canine owner being obliged to possess an “obedience certificate” in Germany.
The trend is not only present in Germany and rules have been put in place (especially in the event of fear or allergy on the part of an employee). Since 99, in the United States we have been celebrating the “Bring your dog to work” day and in France, about one company in six would allow its employees to bring their pets.
From a general point of view, the presence of an animal is beneficial to the atmosphere in the workplace. The animal is thus a factor of good atmosphere; it allows to relax the atmosphere. Its presence even helps to develop a “family” atmosphere and encourages exchanges between employees that would not otherwise take place. The dog then becomes a factor of integration and socialisation for its owner who will then have more exchanges with his peers.
In addition, it has been proven that the presence of an animal would reduce stress among employees. In companies that allow pets, employees and HR agree almost unanimously that they have contributed to reducing employee stress, improving work-life balance, and having a positive impact on productivity.
Another advantage that can be found in the presence of animals in the workplace is the increase in employee productivity. It’s when you feel good that you work best, and that is exactly what animal-friendly companies have understood. In particular, it has been proven that by coming to work with their dogs, employees find overtime more acceptable. In addition, the rate of absenteeism is falling remarkably in the premises of companies that allow animals to be present.
Despite the fact that French law does not prohibit the presence of animals in the workplace, this is not a common practice. However, initiatives such as the “Pets at work” day with “I love my company” are organised.
This blockage may be due to a lack of knowledge of the benefits and legal aspects necessary to carry out such an approach. It may be useful to consult a lawyer to develop a disclaimer.
It is also essential to ensure that all employees are in favour of such a practice. It must be a common project that does not affect the life of the company.
Purina, a well-known company and expert in animal nutrition, has revealed its secrets in a guide. The company has long allowed its employees to come to the office with their pets, and for this reason they have set up an outstanding organisation that it now shares with companies wishing to adopt the same approach.
As a company, you have everything to gain by allowing your employees to bring their pets to the office. On the one hand, it will allow you to reduce absenteeism, improve productivity and improve the general work environment. On the other hand, companies open to the presence of animals (known as “pet-lovers”) reflect a much better image than others. They reflect the image of a modern, innovative and friendly company that cares about the well-being of its employees.