Yes, Having a Work Pet Really Does Increase Productivity

Katie Harrower |


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If you follow us over at Linkedin, Twitter or Facebook, you've likely seen some highly adorable videos of our newest member of the Youmanage team - Peanut. She’s a 13-week-old French bulldog and needless to say we’ve all become besotted with her extremely fast!

It’s been 5 days since Peanut joined us in the office during the day here at Youmanage. Her official Job Title is ‘Director of Opawrations’. We’ll be supplying her with a name badge and business cards in due course.

Despite endless statistics about the benefits of allowing workplace pets (86% of dog owners believe owning a dog can bring stress levels down), there are also reservations among many employers as to how true these stats really are.

For example, there were concerns as to whether Peanut’s presence would hinder instead of help workplace productivity – having something that adorable in a work environment would surely act as a distraction from day-to-day tasks, right?

One thing we’ve learned over the last five days is that although sometimes the urge to lie on the floor with Peanut for hours is very much present, it also acts as a reward for hard work during the day.

Research suggests that we can only maintain concentration for a mere 15-20 minutes before our minds wander off, and this isn’t including constant interruptions from colleagues, which are estimated to occur every 3-10 minutes. In fact, studies show that we are only truly, one-hundred-percent focused on our work for a mere 6 hours per week.

According to a 2014 study, the ideal length of a break should be 17 minutes away from the computer, followed and preceded by 52 minutes of work. This is a good way to rejuvenate your focus and therefore make the most out of the 52 minutes, instead of losing concentration and allowing your mind to wander off.

Having Peanut in the office has provided small opportunities to relax and feel happy before continuing our work with a fresh outlook. These intermittent breaks allow us the chance to relieve any stress we might be feeling and reconnect with tasks on our return, concentration revived. From our experience so far, we believe that our concentration and productivity levels have skyrocketed, but maybe that’s my undying love for puppies talking!

The other plus side of having a pet in the workplace is from a staff retention point of view – happy workplaces make retaining top talent that much easier, especially when your staff are emotionally attached to workplace animals…

Pets aren't the only solution to your staff productivity issues

That's right, Youmanage HR provides software that simplifies, streamlines and strengthens your HR processes, empowering managers and increasing staff productivity & engagement. To find out more, head over to our product page, or take out a free trial of Youmanage.

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Katie is the Marketing Executive here at Youmanage. Within the wider team, she is responsible for managing all aspects of marketing communications, including content and digital strategy, social media, website traffic, prospective client experience and the overall satisfaction of existing Youmanage users.