MISSOURI, USA: As many people adjusted to the extended work-from-home conditions over the last year, our four-legged friends served as our ever-present companions, favorite new colleagues, and a source of happiness during a time of uncertainty.
According to a Purina press release, 76% of pet owners working from home report they've been happier doing so with their pet by their side. Yet, many are hesitant about the transition back to the workplace without their pets, with 73% expressing concern about how their pets will react to their sudden absence.
With office reentry plans top-of-mind for many employers, employee safety and mental health should be at the center of all return-to-office tactics – and those plans should include pets.
According to the study released in July 2021, working from home has primed employers and employees for a world where pets are a welcomed addition to the workplace moving forward.
When considering a new career opportunity, 72% of pet owners working from home would accept a job offer from a pet-friendly employer over a non-pet friendly employer, assuming salary and all other benefits are equal. In the areas of company culture and office morale, 48% of pet owners working from home whose company doesn't have a pet-friendly office think office morale would improve if their office was pet-friendly.
Even executive leaders are open to the idea, with 72% of C-suite pet-friendly executives saying the approval of a pet policy would either lead to or already has increased socialising in the workplace, and 56% said it would lead to or has resulted in increased productivity.
Said Nina Leigh Krueger, its CEO and President: "Introducing pets into the workplace creates a cultural shift that brings people together, offers stress relief and fun, and increases productivity. Incorporating a pet-friendly office policy now also will help the pets who have supported us throughout this time adjust to a new reality."
For employees and employers interested in exploring a pet-friendly workplace, here are the following recommendations:
• Learn the Benefits: Do your research to arm yourself with the positive impact pets have on the workplace as well as the benefits to pets that may suffer from separation anxiety.
• Find Examples: Help employees and management by laying out a list of other like-minded companies in your area that have successfully integrated pets in the workplace.
• Test it Out: Suggest a "Bring Your Pet to Work Day" as a test run to see how employees and visiting pets interact.
• Show you're serious: Establish guidelines and make it official by using an authorisation and release form for those wishing to bring their pets to the office.
Purina is part of Nestlé, a global leader in Nutrition, Health and Wellness. For more information, visit Purina