Ca-nine to five: One in five British workplaces allow pets in the office

New research shows that employers are increasingly allowing pets in the office, now estimated at one in five British workplaces.

According to new research, one-fifth of British workplaces now allow employees to bring pets into the office, yet a similar proportion (22 per cent) of workers have complained about the furry companions.

The survey, by online job board CV-Library, finds that when it comes to the personal effect of animals in the workplace, there is clear evidence of a ‘gender pet gap’.

According to the data:

  • Nearly half (46 per cent) of women believe that having a pet at work eases stress and helps relaxation, compared to 29 per cent of men
  • 21 per cent of women believes it makes them feel more friendly or approachable, compared to 14 per cent of men
  • 40 per cent of men accuse pets of being distracting in the workplace, in contrast to 30 per cent of women
  • Nearly one-fifth of men (19 per cent) go as far to call pets annoying in the workplace

The result of the ‘gender pet gap’ led to a shocking 12 per cent of British men admitting to complaining about pets at work, in stark contrast to virtually no female complaints (one per cent).

In the eternal battle between cats and dogs, canines rule the workplace – making up 87 per cent of all ‘professional’ pets. Cats are clearly an unpopular option at work with only five per cent admitting to having a feline in the workplace, and rabbits coming in third with two per cent.

Related: Can an office dog really boost productivity?

Across the country, London, with its trendy, mutt-ropolitan co-working spaces, leads pet allowance in the office with 27 per cent of workers admitting to having them in the office. The South East (24 per cent), Wales (22 per cent) and Northern Ireland (22 per cent) follow close behind. The East Midlands and the North East are the keenest to keep pets at home, with 91 per cent and 87 per cent of workplaces saying no.

In general, nearly half of Brits would like to see more workplaces allowing pets, but 20 per cent suggest that strict policies from HR should be in place.

With bringing animals into the office becoming a growing trend, employers should sit up and take notice. Twenty-eight per cent of Brits suggested that they’d be more likely to apply for a job if they have, or were allowed to bring in, furry friends in their working environment.

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library comments, ‘With one in two households owning a pet in the UK, it’s clear to see the attraction and convenience of bringing them with you to work.

‘Our new research shines a light on the latest HR trend that many businesses are implementing to stand out from the crowd and attract the very best recruits. It seems to be working, with women being more favourable to the trend. As long as clear protocols are in place for pet ownership, it is set to have a positive benefit to employees and those around them.’

Further reading on office pets

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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