Pets reduce stress at work

The Weekend Sun assistant editor Cayla-Fay Saunders’ choodle Mia brought some smiles to the workplace.

There were lots of ‘oohs’ and ‘ahs’ and ‘isn’t she cute’ comments floating around the SunMedia office last week when assistant editor Cayla-Fay Saunders brought her dog to work for the day.

Even the most hardened journo had to crack a smile at Mia the choodle – a fluffy little Chihuahua poodle cross.

July 7 is Pets at Work Day – an event organised by Nestle Purina PetCare with the support of the SPCA and the Mental Health Foundation to inspire more organisations to experience the benefits of bringing pets to work.

Mental Health Foundation chief executive Shaun Robinson believes the extensive benefits pets have as stress-relievers in the workplace is a compelling reason for organisations to consider becoming pet-friendly.

"Studies have shown that having pets in the office reduces stress and increases productivity. People who work in offices with pets also report finding their colleagues friendlier and more approachable.”

According to a recent study conducted by Purina, the top benefits of a pet-friendly workplace include smiling more, enhanced employee engagement, motivation and likability. More than 60 per cent of employees agreed they liked their employers more because they offered them this benefit.

In New Zealand, it is estimated that almost half a million Kiwis already enjoy a pet-friendly workplace, but there are many more people who currently can’t bring their pets, and would like to see that changed.

Nestle Purina New Zealand head of marketing Jennifer Chappell is hoping that in 2017 more organisations will embrace pets at work, even if just for the day.

"We love coming to work every day with our furry friends and we wish more people could have the opportunity to experience it for themselves. Having pets at work helps us to relax, laugh more and get some fresh air during the day. It highlights our core belief that pets and people are better together, including in the workplace.”

In the lead-up to the day, a video has been produced which features four Kiwi workplaces and why having pets at work is better for both people and their pets.

Royal New Zealand SPCA acting CEO Andrea Midgen is featured in the video and says that pet-friendly workplaces are as much a benefit to pets as they are to people.

"Animals love interaction and companionship, so bringing them to work allows them to meet new people, experience new situations and spend some quality time with their owner.”

Pets are considered welcome in a wide variety of businesses across NZ. More than one in 10 (13 per cent) of employees who worked for an employer of 200 plus staff had a pet-friendly policy and 17 per cent of retail businesses are happy to include pets in the workplace.

Timeout bookstore manager Jenna Todd is also featured in the video with Lucinda the cat and says Lucinda provides many locals – young and old – with the sort of company and affection they might be missing.

If you’re interested in what is involved in having pets at work visit for handy documents around authorisation, safety and etiquette.

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Now there's a thought

Posted on 08-07-2017 10:40 | By Papamoaner

Handy for deterring building inspectors and OSH moths.

Pets at work...

Posted on 07-07-2017 23:04 | By GreertonBoy

could also be a nightmare... it depends on the job and circumstances. Plenty of builders have dogs on the job, but it could open a can of worms if someones pet is injured or sick at the owners job. What if someones dog or cat gives the others some disease or something? What if Bob in accountings dog chases John in sales cat onto the road or into working machinery. What if a workers cat trips a worker and the worker becomes a quadriplegic? Will the bosses insurance cover that? So, the surgeon can have a dog at his feet in surgery? The butcher should have cats and dogs in his shop? You wouldn’t mind going into the supermarket and the checkout person has a cockatoo next to the register? Some jobs might be suitable for certain pets, but to encourage people to take pets is silly imo?

golly gosh

Posted on 07-07-2017 21:50 | By old trucker

There is a shoe shop in Grey street that has a little dog in the shop,its really AWESOME like the owner,hats off to her for bringing some joy to the boring downtown,this is AWESOME,No1 is Sunlive for News,Thankyou,10-4 out.

golly gosh

Posted on 07-07-2017 21:47 | By old trucker

Sunlive, i would not be without my little girl of 14 yrs, in the truck sitting in the sleeper cab watching the world go by, if loading was being held up or workers taking their time to load up so i could get away getting back into the cab and seeing her made it all worth while,500km to go and be home tomorrow night,good on you Carla -Fay, im proud of you, and Sunlive allowing this in your work place, this is AWESOME,its to PC nowdays to take your little dog into a Cafe and for her to sit beside you without a noise and behave herself, not like noisey kids etc, who run around and start crying cause they cannot have what they want is beside me, and my little girl would just sit there,my thoughts only on this,Sunlive is No1 for News AND LETTING staff bring intheirlovedones.

Absolutely agree Papamoaner

Posted on 07-07-2017 15:19 | By Border Patrol

Ours are the same- they seem to know whats going on to the point that you have to spell certain words! I think it’s a great move if workplaces encourage this, it would also relieve boredom for a pet through the working week that would otherwise be stuck in a backyard/kennel waiting for it’s owner to come home.

It's true

Posted on 07-07-2017 11:17 | By Papamoaner

My dogs never seem to tire of following me around while I’m working on some project or other, and they somehow make me feel good too. They are masters of body language. So much so that I struggle to prevent them from knowing my next move. It becomes a game that can interfere with work if you don’t watch it. Man’s best friend alright. I suspect that old adage is thousands of years old in its different forms.

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