Pets in the office lead to less stress, less anxiety and better productivity

Sara and Peach are regular visitors to the office of Flick Electric, which has allowed pets since it opened in 2014.

Provided

Sara and Peach are regular visitors to the office of Flick Electric, which has allowed pets since it opened in 2014.

Since launching Flick Electric in 2014, its Wellington office has been a hub for people – and their furry friends.

Having animals nearby increased productivity, helped staff better manage stress and anxiety, and helped them be more active, said human resources manager Kerin Moriarty.

“Being able to pause and play fetch, in and out of the office to take pets outside to the wharepaku and have them in meetings, in person or online, helps us be more of ourselves.

“They help staff reset after conversations with our customers, which can be a little strained at times, and connect with each other on a different level.

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“Above all, they just make the office a nicer, more welcoming place.”

And it wasn’t just the dogs that were showing up.

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“We’ve had shaggy bunnies, kittens and the occasional bird, but most of the time we have doggie friends who come to visit.”

Pet food company Purina conducted research with 1,000 pet owners across New Zealand last year, which found Kiwis were happier employees with animals of company.

The Purina Pets at Work study found that 96% of pet owners in New Zealand felt having their pet around while working from home in 2021 improved their mental health and work/life balance .

About 95% of respondents said pets made them happier employees, with 71% saying their pets helped them reduce stress levels. Nearly half of respondents said pets gave them a reason to get outside more, and 44% were reminded to take more breaks.

Kezia Thompson, Digital Marketing and Customer Communications Advisor at Flick Electric marketing, takes a break from her work day to cuddle Bonnie the pug.

Provided

Kezia Thompson, Digital Marketing and Customer Communications Advisor at Flick Electric marketing, takes a break from her work day to cuddle Bonnie the pug.

But despite this, 80% did not always take their pet with them when they returned to the office, according to the study.

Frog Recruitment is another animal-friendly workplace.

He now runs NZ Top Dog, a lightweight competition to celebrate furry friends and shed light on the positive impacts they have on mental health.

The competition has three categories – best dog, best office dog and best dog with a job. Twenty dogs are shortlisted and the winner is chosen by public vote.

Last year’s top office dog was a cattle cross called Trust who ‘works’ as a welfare officer at Family Works Waitemata in Auckland.

“Dogs at work are known to improve workplace culture. The data also tells us that they play a role in reducing worker separation anxiety in this pandemic era,” said Shannon Barlow, Managing Director of Frog Recruitment.

Frog Recruitment’s survey found that 45% of workers surveyed admitted that their “dog owner separation anxiety” caused them to bring their furry friend into their office during work hours, and nearly half of these dogs now accompanied their owner to work on a permanent basis. base.

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