Studies show that pets in the workplace are good business

Studies continue to show that allowing employees to bring their pets to work is good business because it’s good for employee morale, and that’s good for the bottom line.

And there’s no better time to take note of that than today—the 21st annual Take Your Dog to Work Day (TYDTWD).

TYDTWD was created by Pet Sitters International in 1999 to celebrate what great companions dogs make, and to promote their adoption. TYDTWD is always celebrated on the Friday following Father’s Day.

Although the idea of a special day for taking pets to work originated in 1999, corporate America didn’t really start to catch on until the publication of a groundbreaking 2012 study conducted by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU).

That study found that dogs in the workplace helped reduce stress in their owners and made work more satisfying for other employees with whom the dogs came in contact.

A recent study by Nationwide Pet Insurance in partnership with the Human-Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) reinforces VCU’s findings: More than three times as many employees at pet-friendly workplaces report a positive working relationship with their boss and coworkers—significantly more than those in non-pet-friendly environments.

The Nationwide study also shows that pet-friendly companies are more successful at attracting and retaining employees, especially millennials.

Compared to their baby boomer and Generation X counterparts, millennials are far more likely to value a pet-friendly work environment.

More significantly, these employees are more likely to stay with a company long term.

In fact, the Nationwide study found that 90% of employees in pet-friendly workplaces feel highly connected to their company’s mission, are fully engaged with their work, and are willing to recommend their employer to others. In contrast, less than 65% of employees in non-pet-friendly workplaces made the same claims.

(The study defines a pet-friendly workplace as one that allows pets in the workplace—regularly or occasionally—and/or offers a pet-friendly employee benefit, such as pet health insurance.)

Companies interested in reaping the benefits of creating a pet-friendly workplace can find helpful tips and tools by checking out the latest episode of The Woofice, a pet-centric parody of hit sitcom The Office.

Released by Zoetis Petcare and HABRI as part of their Pet Effect Campaign, The Woofice details research supporting the benefits of a pet-friendly workplace and offers practical tools for employers interested in creating one.

“With millennial pet owners driving demand for more pet-friendly offices, The Woofice is incredibly timely,” says Steven Feldman, HABRI executive director. “It is HABRI’s genuine hope [that] The Woofice videos and campaign content catch on and inspire people to take steps to create pet-friendly workplaces so the benefits of strong and healthy human-animal bonds can not only be experienced at home but also every weekday from 9 to 5.”

But if you’re at an animal hospital, you already know all about the benefits of a pet-friendly workplace.

Even so, you might want to check out The Woofice. It’s pretty funny.

Photo credit: © Laura Esterman