Dogs are now part of almost every second household in Hungary, with more people than ever wanting to bring pets with them to work as well. According to Mars, one of the leading confectionary, food and petfood manufacturers of the world, bringing our dogs to work is not only beneficial for pets, but their owners and business too. On August 26th, World Dog Day, dedicated to the celebration of humans’ bond to their furry friends, Mars has collected the key benefits of implementing dog-friendly offices and invites other companies to join in their footsteps as well.
A recent survey conducted by OnePoll in partnership with Banfield Pet Hospital (part of the Mars company) has revealed that half of the executives who joined the survey said they are planning to allow pets in the workplace and 59% said they’ll allow more flexibility for workers who want to stay remote with their pets. Furthermore, according to the survey, 71% of Z generation respondents and 48% of millennials have or are planning to request their employer implement a pet-friendly policy.
Mars, the owner of popular dog food brands such as Pedigree and Cesar has been at the forefront of implementing dog-friendly offices for over a decade now. With the pandemic bringing a steady increase in the number of dog adoptions, the company now aims to lead a trend of welcoming pets into offices, not only for the benefit of dogs but also because of the wellbeing of associates and the benefits this brings to the organisations as well.
Why should we welcome dogs into offices?
Increased socializing among associates when around pets; closer communities, increased productivity, and generally less stress are only some of the clear benefits seen after the implementation of pet-friendly offices that pet-friendly companies could report.
“Pet-friendly offices have been an integral part of our culture for over a decade now, and we believe that this is what keeps our associates happy while working with us. Having dogs in our offices bring several benefits: dogs function as icebreakers among colleagues, allow our associates to interact more freely with each other, and bring a positive atmosphere in which people can focus on their work instead of worrying about their dogs left at home. This, and the well-being of pets is why we are encouraging other companies to join us in creating pet-friendly workplaces.” – says Daniela Hlavackova, Demand Director of Mars CE.
What does a modern pet-friendly office look like?
The implementation of dog-friendly offices requires some basic considerations of employee health, allergies, and legal questions, as well as some basic needs of pets that need to be addressed.
“Having a chance to bring pets to the office is a great benefit highly appreciated by our associates. Pets support interaction among associates, their presence can relieve stress and as well encourage associates to go for short walks during their office hours, which can have a great impact on their health and wellbeing. That is why in Mars offices, the presence of dogs is very welcome, but it also goes hand in hand with the mutual consideration of our associates’ needs. Thanks to our long-term experience in this area, we have managed to create effective workplace rules that allow our associates and pets to live in symbiosis,” says Daria Maslovskaya, People and Organization Director of Mars for Central Europe.
In general, a modern dog-friendly office should be free of any objects that would be inappropriate for a dog. It should also include dedicated areas for dogs to play and ideally should be close to a park or a green area where owners could take their dogs for a break. New dogs should be introduced to the office gradually, and communication should also be key with other colleagues, to ensure that everyone feels comfortable. These are only some of the main points to consider, but through its Better Cities for Pets program Mars also offers free online resources for individuals, companies, offices, restaurants, and even airports and cities on how to become more pet-friendly. The online tools and guidebooks include some great tips, from how to welcome a newly adopted pet into our home, to the basic steps of transitioning to a pet-friendly office.
“When I first brought my vizsla, Leó to work with me, I was both relieved that he is going to spend his day with me, but also a bit worried about how he might adjust to the office routine. Now I can safely say that he has won the hearts of all my colleagues and has become a regular guest in our Budapest office – I can’t imagine coming to work without him”- concludes Szilvia Nérey, Office and Management Team coordinator at the Mars Budapest office, the owner of Leó.