An estimated 1.7 million British businesses have adopted a pet-friendly policy, however, new data has revealed that two thirds of employees claim office dogs are bad for business.
More than half of staff think that furry friends are a distraction, making for poor productivity.
And having canines in the office sends stress levels through the roof for one in five workers, while one in four have said they lose the will to work altogether.
Despite the debate over how welcome dogs are at work, employees agreed that having a company canine can ease anxious environments.
Of the 2,000 office workers surveyed by www.AnimalFriends.co.uk, over half said that having pets in the workplace helped to relieve stress and improve their enthusiasm for the job.
The same number claim pets are a great way to boost morale because they give them an excuse to talk to colleagues about non-work matters.
The new data also revealed that those who are not allowed to bring their furry friends to the office, can’t help but check up on them.
One in four workers go home to check on their pets during work hours and 40% ask someone else to, while 11% pay dog sitters and 16% even set up a webcam to monitor their furry friends.
And with the average canine left alone for four hours of the average working day, 9% of owners admitted they have changed job to better look after their pet.
Cleanliness was the real bugbear for 10% of offices which don’t allow pets but 9% said there was a legal issue why they couldn’t be allowed to roam.
A number of pet-friendly offices have created rules for the company canines including that staff can’t bring a dog into the office on a day when anyone with allergies is in (27%), while 36% keep animals in a different part of the office.
But despite this, 16% of offices that allow dogs employ someone who is allergic to animals.
Other well-established rules that would need to be made for respondents to consider a dog, would be that they were small, well behaved, toilet-trained and kept in another part of the office.
And a limit of one dog at any time, would top the criteria.
Westley Pearson, managing director of Animalfriends.co.uk, said: “Animal Friends is a team of animal lovers and nine out of 10 staff members are pet owners themselves. As a company we have made provisions to help employees give their furry friends the top level of care, including bringing pets to work with them when necessary.
“There are a number of benefits to being able to bring pets to work with you, but it’s important that everyone in the office is happy with the decision and to be aware of others’ allergies or reasons why it might be uncomfortable for those who aren’t as fond of dogs.”
He added: “In addition, if you take your pet to work, they may think they can nuzzle up with you at any time – even when you’re really busy, so you should be aware of that!”
Some of the UK’s pet-friendly offices are:
1. Ben & Jerry’s
2. Next Model Management
3. Build-a-Bear Workshop