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Dogs in the office improve workplace satisfaction in Switzerland

A golden retriever on the lead lies on the ground next to its owner, whose legs are visible sitting on a chair under a table.
Two-thirds of survey respondents said that dogs in the office were positive for the workplace atmosphere, satisfaction, work-life balance, wellbeing and for interaction between colleagues. Keystone / EPA / Omer Messinger

While some Swiss employers are strictly against dogs in the office, a survey published on Wednesday shows that dogs improve the working atmosphere – and not only for their owners, but also for other employees.  

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When Simon needs a break from work in the theatre, he goes for a walk with “production dog” Angus. Afterwards, he is fit and motivated again to spend hours adjusting lighting positions. Simon is not Angus’s owner, but the dog is an important buddy for him at work.  

Simon is one of many Swiss employees who appreciate “their” dog at work. According to a survey conducted by market research institute iVOX on behalf of Mars Switzerland to mark “Take Your Dog To Work Day” on Friday, most Swiss workers find the presence of dogs in the office positive.  

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Seven out of ten respondents said that dogs reduced their general stress levels. Among dog owners, 80% of respondents were of the same opinion. In addition, around two-thirds of employees said that dogs in the office were positive for the workplace atmosphere, satisfaction, work-life balance, wellbeing and for interaction between colleagues. 

Those who already worked in dog-friendly offices were even more likely to share this opinion, according to the press release. And like Simon, most respondents believed that dogs had a positive influence on breaks. Three-quarters of employees said that breaks were better with a dog, while the figure for dog owners themselves was even higher at more than 93%.  

Office ‘dog policies’

According to the press release, however, it was often unclear whether workers were allowed to bring their dog into the office. One in five people did not know whether dogs were allowed in their workplace and almost half of employers also had no clear rules on this.  

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However, around a third of employers had a so-called dog policy, with rules that define the interaction between dogs and humans in the workplace.  

According to the press release, even those employers who have not yet addressed the issue would do well to introduce a dog policy and allow dogs in the office, as half of those surveyed were confident that this would increase employee loyalty. A third also stated that they would come to the office more often if dogs were allowed there.  

For the study, at the beginning of May iVOX surveyed 1,000 working people from Switzerland as well as students who will be entering the labour market in one to two years’ time. According to the release, the study was representative in terms of region, gender, age and education. 

Adapted from German by DeepL/kp/ts 

This news story has been written and carefully fact-checked by an external editorial team. At SWI we select the most relevant news for an international audience and use automatic translation tools such as DeepL to translate it into English. Providing you with automatically translated news gives us the time to write more in-depth articles.

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