Pets

What you need to know about Pets at Work Day

If you're thinking about taking your pooch or puss into the office, here's what you need to know.

By Karyn Henger

Offices around the country will be going to the dogs on July 7, with Kiwi employees encouraged to take part in Pets at Work Day.

The plan is to create more pet-friendly workplaces - and we can see why it might be a good idea.

Studies have shown that people who work with pets in the office are less stressed, more productive and even nicer to their colleagues.

One set of researchers found that levels of the worry hormone cortisol were lower in saliva samples taken from employees who were allowed to take their four-legged friend to the office.

Other studies have shown that those who performed a stressful task while in the company of their pet were considerably less stressed than when they had their spouse, family member or close friend by their side.

You don’t even need to know an animal well to benefit from spending time with them. And they don’t need to be dogs or cats - even watching fish can reduce blood pressure and produce a state of relaxation.

If you're trying to convince your boss to let you bring in a furry friend, you could also remind them that relaxed workers tend to make better decisions, have fewer accidents and are more pleasant to be around.

Pets in the workplace also help reduce absenteeism.

According to Purina, in New Zealand only 13 per cent of those who work for a company with 200 staff or more say their workplace has a pet-friendly policy, and 17 per cent of customer-facing retail businesses are happy to have pets in the workplace.

Of course there are work environments in which it's not appropriate to have pets, and you need to consider whether any of your colleagues suffer from pet allergies or asthma, or just really don't like animals.

Here's what people who work with pets have to say:

If you're thinking about making your workplace pet-friendly here are some guidelines to follow: