Nestlé Purina is working with and providing support to businesses across Europe to join their Pets at Work Alliance, with the aim of having 200 partners on board by 2020 as per its Purina in Society commitment.
Purina introduced pets at work in 2003 and has experienced business and health-related benefits among its employees, including greater interaction between employees, improved retention, increased productivity and lower stress levels. The encouraging results from the program have encouraged Purina to call on other European leaders to profit from the program.
"Pets at Work is not just a program but a movement that we know delivers a multitude of benefits, such as improved workplace atmosphere, work-life balance and socializing among employees," said Bernard Meunier, CEO at Nestlé Purina PetCare Europe, Middle East and North Africa. "Establishing our own Pets at Work scheme has provided significant learning for successful implementation, and from this experience, we have developed materials and guidance for organizations wishing to introduce this type of scheme."
Pet-friendly work environments in Europe
Due to the success of the initiative, Pets at Work has gained momentum in Purina offices across Europe. For example, France has always welcomed pets at work, while Germany started opening its doors to pets in 2011. Italy and the UK followed suit in 2014 and several more offices are moving towards pet-friendly work environments. Similar to Purina, other companies across Europe are taking note of the mutual business and employee benefits that result from allowing pets at work, and are offering more flexible benefits that both attract and retain employees.
"Some companies in Italy already enthusiastically support pets at work," said Germano Calvi, Head of Research and Data Science, Publicis Communication Italy. "We've been working with Purina for a while, and during this time we have seen how the "Pets at Work" initiative is truly appreciated by their employees and how it can create a peaceful atmosphere in the office. For this reason, we also decided to adopt a similar project and Purina have provided us with the best possible advice on how we could do it. This initiative has been a great success among own employees too therefore we are delighted to become a member of the Pets at Work Alliance".
Purina conducts survey on value of pets in the workplace
Recently Purina conducted The Pets at Work Survey 2017 to gain further insights into the attitudes towards, and perceived benefits of being allowed to bring your pet to work. The survey, which interviewed 3,221 employed European dog-owners in eight countries across Europe (UK, France, Germany, Russia, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Portugal) between the ages of 18 and 65, further solidify Purina's belief that pets are, and should be welcome in the workplace. The survey, which appeared in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management, returned favorable results, which include:
- 68 percent of employed dog owners would bring their pet to work, if given the choice (currently only 12 percent of work environments are pet-friendly)
- 40 percent of employees agree that pets in the workplace contribute to reducing stress and creating a more relaxed work atmosphere
- 36 percent of employees find that pets at work help to improve the work/life balance. More results of the survey will be released in the following weeks
More information about the survey will be launched in the coming weeks.
More on Purina’s Pet at Work program
Pets at Work is an ongoing movement that remains an important initiative for Purina and was demonstrated last year when Purina and several pet-friendly companies collaborated to break the existing record of most pets in the workplace in one day: 691 dogs and cats.
To help other employers who are considering starting their own Pets at Work program, Purina has created a digital toolkit with tips and tools such as office checklists, signage and authorization forms.