Pet-Friendly Workplaces


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Post-pandemic offices are likely to have more pets, Banfield finds.

Many employers say they’ll welcome pets at the office as people return to work, according to a recent survey by Banfield. More than half of the pet owners in the survey said they’ll be most happy returning to their workplace if they can bring their pets with them. Sixty-three percent said increased time at home has made them think more about how their pets can fit into their workday post-pandemic.

Half of the C-suite executives surveyed said they’re planning to allow pets in the workplace when people return, and 59% said they would allow more flexibility for workers wanting to stay remote with their pets. Among those who are considering implementing a pet-friendly policy:

  • 59% said they’re doing so because of employee requests.
  • 58% cite understanding their staff has gotten used to spending all day with their pets during the pandemic.
  • 42% say they want to entice their employees back into the office.

Of pet owners who want to bring their pets to the office, the survey found:

  • 38% said they’re worried their pet will experience separation anxiety.
  • 37% want the companionship of their pet at work.
  • 28% think their pets can help keep them calm during stressful workdays.
  • 23% said they’d be more productive with their pet accompanying them to work.

According to the survey, if business leaders haven’t heard from their staff about pets in the workplace yet, there’s a good chance they might. About 70% of Gen Zers and 48% of millennials have or are planning to reach out to their employer requesting they implement a pet-friendly policy once offices open back up. With 75% of C-suite execs saying being a pet owner has made them a better, more compassionate business leader, these requests will likely be carefully considered.

“We’ve seen the human-animal bond only get stronger during the pandemic, and it’s no surprise that owners are thinking about how they can best be here for their pets when they start to spend more time outside of the home,” said Brian Garish, president of Banfield Pet Hospital. “We believe we can advance human health through pet health, elevating societal well-being. That’s why we’ll continue to be here for pets and their owners as they adjust to this next normal, providing high-quality preventive care, no matter what 2021 brings.”

According to survey findings, C-suite executives have good reason to believe a pet-friendly policy will come with benefits. While the pandemic likely led to many leaders considering pets in the workplace for the first time, many employers (48%) already had a policy in place. Of those:

  • 67% saw increased socializing between employees when pets were around.
  • 61% say employees were more willing to come to work
  • 42% saw increased productivity among staff
  • 41% say employees were more willing to stay at work later.
  • 31% saw increased retention
  • 24% say employees seem happier in the office/workplace.

Photo credit: istockphoto.com/hobo_018