I'm Brook and I've got lots of reasons to be wagging my tail today and every day, because of PAW. Purina has monitored PAW closely since starting in 2003, and they have seen many benefits to having dogs in the office, not only for us and our owners, but for other employees as well.
Their experience is also backed up by science. A study by the British Medical Journal Pet ownership and human health: a brief review of evidence and issues, BMJ, 2005, found dog owners are better at dealing with stressful events and less susceptible to anxiety-related illnesses, and it is no different in the workplace. Pets have been shown to boost employee happiness, reduce stress, cut absenteeism and help people collaborate more effectively.
According to a study by Virginia University in 2012(*) employees who had access to dogs in their office tended to be less stressed as the day progressed, than those without office dogs. The research also illuminated that access to dogs boosts morale and reduced stress levels, no matter if people had access to their own pets or other people’s. The better an employee feels on a regular basis, the more they are able to stay focused and produce quality work.
(*) Randolph T. Barker, Janet S. Knisley, Sandra B. Barker, Rachel K. Cobb, Christine M. Schubert (2012), “Preliminary investigation of employee’s dog presence on stress and organizational perceptions”, published in The International Journal of Workplace Health Management, Vol 5 Iss: 1 pp. 15-30, employees who had access to dogs in their office tended to be less stressed as the day progressed, than those without office dogs. The research also illuminated that access to dogs boosts morale and reduced stress levels, no matter if people had access to their own pets or other people’s. The better an employee feels on a regular basis, the more they are able to stay focused and produce quality work.
In addition to these recognised health benefits, the PAW programme:
I know my mum Sarah and her friends like having dogs nearby to pat and cuddle - she says it helps keep the team feeling relaxed and happy, creating a warm and upbeat atmosphere for everyone to enjoy.
Employee feedback to date has shown that PAW is an extremely popular employee benefit and so our bosses believe PAW can help with ongoing team retention and loyalty.
I now have friends all over the Nestlé business - we all work hard to create a warmer and more sociable office environment and create an extra level of co-worker interaction. We enjoy snuffling the hands of our quieter employees who become more sociable when talking to their colleagues about their dogs.
Our owners spend many of their breaks walking us. As we all know, even just taking a few minutes to walk and play with a dog is a natural stress reliever which contributes to lowering anxiety levels. I love hanging out with Max and Tarn in Scentral Bark. While we are running around, our owners catch up with work news (and gossip) from across the office.
Pets are a huge part of employees' lives and by encouraging us in the workplace it’s easy to see how much Purina cares about all teammates and how important it is to have a healthy work/life balance. My pack and I love being close to our owners and their colleagues, who enjoy having us with them in the office.