Why employers should adopt pet-friendly offices

by HRD21 Sep 2017
One of Australia's top workplaces has revealed one of its secrets to greatness: it allows pets in the office.

Mars Petcare Australia was named best workplace of businesses with 1000 or more employees in Great Place to Work Australia's recent announcement of Australia's best workplaces.

Mars Petcare Australia's Barry O'Sullivan says employers around the world are recognising the link between workplace happiness and having pets around.

“In addition to increasing moral and reducing stress it really does create a fun working environment,” O’Sullivan told HRD.

“I have my adopted kelpie with me every day. I come into the office and I got to meetings with her by my side.

“There is no doubt that it is something that just makes you feel better and ultimately associates are more productive and happy in a pet-friendly environment.”

In fact, a recent survey by Banfield Pet Hospital found that seven out of 10 employees and HR managers said that pets have a positive effect on office dynamics and workplace moral.

Moreover, the employees said that having pets in the office boosts employee sense of well-being, reduces guilt about leaving pets at home, decreases stress, and supports a greater work-life balance.

O’Sullivan added that it's only dogs that Mars Petcare Australia has walking around the offices.

“You would have a lot of challenges to make the environment conducive for both dogs and cats at the same time,” he said.

“Specifically, at this site at Wodonga we have got a cattery where associates can interact with cats and it’s a safe and secure environment.”

So what’s O’Sullivan’s advice for making a workplace great for employees?

“A tool that we use is the Gallup Q18 Survey and many businesses around the world engage in that.

“They really give you those insights into what you need to do to continue to improve.

“They help us create an environment where people can be happy to come to work each day and be themselves."

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  • by Robin 21/09/2017 4:33:21 PM

    Fabulous idea, many employers are now doing it. However, before implementing this feel good policy, beware there are many people with asthma and allergies to dog hair. For some it is extreme.. the fact that a dog may have just been in a place but gone can still affect some people. It only takes one to suffer a bad breathing reaction and potentially end up in hospital!! Of course, there are those who are scared of dogs too but this could be a good way for them to get over that fear. My point, do your homework, discuss with employees before going ahead.

  • by Deb 21/09/2017 5:55:22 PM

    Good suggestion Robin