Employees want to work at home so they can care for their pets. Photo: Shutterstock

Thursday 16th June 2016

Pet Peeves

67% of workers 'guilty about leaving pets at home'

What do you think drives the market for homeworking? Employees looking to optimise capacity by removing commuting from their schedules? Workers looking for comfortable, quiet conditions in which to increase productivity? Nope. It’s the fact that workers with pets are scared that Rover and Tiddles just aren’t getting enough cuddles.

According to a recent survey by Sensée (‘the UK’s leading homeworking outsourcing provider’) three-quarters of office workers would like to work from home to be closer to their pets.

Where's Daddy?
Where’s Daddy?

Almost half (47%) of homeworkers questioned claimed that their pet was an influencing factor when deciding to jack in the commute. And more than two-thirds (67%) of all UK workers experience feelings of guilt ‘followed closely by anxiety and unhappiness’ when leaving pets at home for long periods of time.

67%, maths fans, is over two-thirds. Yes – over two-thirds of your pet-owning employees don’t want to be at work, aren’t concentrating at their desk and privately put their employers on a par with Cruella De Vil when it comes to animal cruelty.

This is clearly a big HR issue, and one we need to sort out in no more than two shakes of a puppy’s tale.

There’s one obvious course of action, and that’s to pay employees to have their pets put down. A vet can put a dog to sleep for less than £100 which would pay for itself many times over in terms of increased employee focus. It might be a little self-defeating, however, for any firm which references the RSPCA or similar in its CSR policy.

Maybe the way to remove the guilt is to take Next Model Management’s example and bring pets into the workplace. But don’t just give them a saucer of milk and allow them to loll around under their owners’ desks. Goodness, no: put them to work.


Fired? Whatever.
Fired? Whatever.

Tired of being asked to zip round the building making people redundant? You’d be better off getting a well-trained pooch to do the job for you. Simply tuck a P45 into a dog’s collar and direct him to the relevant office. Even the person being made redundant will appreciate it, given he’ll at least have a cute dog to comfort him through his distress. ‘What? I’m being let go after 25 years? But my kids have just started college, and – never mind. Who’s a good boy, then? Is it you, doggums?’


Well worth 4.9p.a.
Well worth £4.9m p.a.

The average FTSE100 boss now earns £95,000 per week. Consider replacing your metaphorical fat cat for one week with an actual fat cat, and see what difference it makes. Our bet is that everyone will be far more able to get on with their jobs, stress levels will be through the floor and the organisation will be £95,000 better off – more if you take into account the savings on Cuban cigars, posh restaurants and green fees.



He'll try anything.
He’ll try anything.

You’ll have lost count of the number of times you’ve needed a ‘guinea pig’ for something. Why not make use of an actual guinea pig? It’d create great data for your review meetings. ‘There’s good news and bad news regarding the proposed wellbeing initiatives,’ you’d say. ‘The guinea pig was definitely more productive after the free nuts but the Bikram Yoga seems to have given it a heat-induced heart attack.’



A clear improvement.
A clear improvement.

You know that useless intern who forgets everything you tell him and spends most of his time going round in circles with his mouth open? Replace them with a goldfish. You’ll get the same results, but the fish is cheaper. And when you want rid of him you don’t even have to fill in an internship report – just flush him down the toilet.

About the author

Andrew Baird

Andrew is the CEO of HRville. He is also Employer Brand Director of Blackbridge Communications, Editorial Director of Professionals in Law and an associate of The Smarty Train. Previously, he was the MD of TCS Advertising.