Throughout the past year of the pandemic, our pets have become a source of emotional support, as well as our co-workers, as we navigated what working from home actually looked like. Now, as more and more people are getting vaccinated, companies are looking for ways to welcome their employees back into an office environment, and choosing spaces where their furry friends can continue to work with them everyday has become a major priority.
According to a study performed by OnePoll in collaboration with the Canfield Pet Hospital, 50% of executive-level employees claim that they are considering allowing their employees to bring their pets to work as often as they please in the future. 59% of executives claimed that they already had relatively loose policies when it came to allowing pets in the office, but would now be “much more flexible” when it came to pet policies.
These discussions have become especially important considering how many people became pet owners during the pandemic. Many new pet owners are worried about how their pets, and themselves individually, will react to a normal work schedule that would require one to leave their house every day.
63% of pet owners claimed that they have anxiety over how their pets will react to a post-pandemic work routine. Luckily, 75% of the executives surveyed said that they themselves have learned about the importance of being a pet owner, and how it actually helped them become a better, more compassionate, business leader.
The study also found that “among executives who are crafting a specific pet policy in the workplace, 59% say their plans were motivated by employee requests. 58% say they understand that staff members have gotten used to being around their pets all day, and 42% say a pet perk at work would entice employees to return to the office.”
Brian Garish is the president of Banfield Pet Hospital, who claims that research has shown in the past that dogs in the workplace actually make employees more collaborative and less stressed.
“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 there for their pets when they start to spend more time outside of home. We believe we can advance human health through pet health, elevating societal well-being.”
Employees surveyed who discussed how before the pandemic their workplace already allowed pets in the office, claimed that it often always prompted an increase in employee socialization, and often encouraged more employees to come to work. It also led to an increase in productivity and made employees more willing to work later if it was needed.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.