Dame Fiona Kendrick: Why you should bring dogs to work

Dame Fiona Kendrick: Why you should bring dogs to work

Dame Fiona Kendrick, Chairwoman and CEO at Nestlé UK & Ireland, has re-emphasised the importance of dogs in the workplace.

A study by the International Journal of Workplace Health Management a couple of years ago found that when dogs were present at work, morale levels were boosted and stress levels reduced – and it appears Nestlé are no stranger to this.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Kendrick said: “We see our workplace environment as a very important part of employee wellbeing. And so to that end we decided to invite our four-legged dog friends into work.” At the company’s headquarters in Gatwick, London, approximately 60 dogs are registered.

“We believe that investment in our employees, to help their broader physical and mental health, is so important. Life is, obviously, pretty stressful for a lot of people, and I think it is therefore businesses responsibility to step up, recognise that and play their role in it.”

We visited their headquarters last year. Susan Stewart, Group HR Director at Nestlé UK & Ireland, told us: “It’s actually a direct tie-in to the overall wellness agenda that we have at Nestlé. Research shows us that dog owners have lower levels of stress and anxiety, and we really leverage that as we think about our policies in terms of bringing pets to work.

“So it is something that’s fun and enjoyable, and it puts a smile on your face, but there’s also scientific evidence and research that shows that it’s helpful from a wellbeing perspective.

The benefits are well-documented and well-founded. Anybody with the right focus can have a scheme that’s successful in terms of bringing their pets to work. We hope that we can be inspirational and share some of our learnings with others so that they can then adapt them and figure out the best way to make it work for their office environment.”

Comments (3)

  • Deby
    Fri, 6 Jan 2017 10:20am GMT
    What about people who have severe allergies to animal fur. Bringing in animals into the office would send me to A&E! A great idea for a section of employees but could cause more difficulties for others.
  • Elaine
    Thu, 5 Jan 2017 3:06pm GMT
    I worked at a Health Management Ltd and they had a dog policy at their Head Office. It went down very well with staff .
  • Sir
    Thu, 5 Jan 2017 1:26pm GMT
    I am very much not a dog person - very much indeed. I would find dogs in the workplace very stressful.
    Can I bring my cat instead ? - it would have the same affect on me personally. Or maybe my llama ?
    Thin end of a very long wedge.

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