Let’s face it. Animals are a bit of a wild card.
Jan from accounting may adore her Rottweiler, but is Gizmo a good fit for a corporate office environment? Sure, when you take out a treat he wags his tail adorably. But, he also sometimes likes to bark loudly at the printer.
Pets in the workplace have positive associations, but can trigger some pet peeves.
Workplace pets are becoming more “pupular” after lockdowns, so the team at LiveCareer surveyed 1000+ employees to find out:
- if workplace pet/human interactions were valued
- which workplace pets were the most popular
- whether the respondents valued workplace pet policies and benefits
- what problems could arise from pets at work
The results will give employers pause…or rather “paws.” For example, 51% said that pet-friendly benefits were important when job searching.
Pet policy perks
The participants in the study shared their opinions on workplace pet benefits and policies.
As mentioned, more than half of the respondents said pet-friendly benefits are an influential factor when looking for a job.
Not only that—
- 46% agreed with “Pets in the office could make me more likely to recommend my employer to a friend.”
- 41% would consider switching jobs if it meant they could bring their pet to work
- 52% would stay at their employer for a longer stint if an employer had a pet-friendly policy
- 82% of millennials said they’d like “pawternity leave” (compared to 73% of Gen X and older)
Yes, pawternity leave—you read it right!
This is a policy in which employees can take time off from work after bringing home a new pet. The amount of time depends on the company.
And lots of companies are getting creative with ways to keep their staff happy these days.
After all, the US is experiencing its sixth month in a row of record-breaking resignations. In order to keep talent, pet-friendly policies help companies retain and attract staff during the Great Resignation.
But, are pets in the workplace really a perk?
The workplace pet experience
There’s some serious puppy love in the workplace, it seems.
Out of those who’d worked with a pet onsite, 84% worked with a dog, and 50% a cat.
And from the remote workers, 77% had worked with a dog from home, compared to 55% with a cat.
And how was their pets-at-work experience?
The respondents shared what it was like. And the results were overwhelmingly pawsitive.
- A whopping 76% said that working with a pet was a positive experience.
- 77% of those who’d brought a pet to work reported that the reaction was positive.
- 79% of remote workers felt working around a pet was positive.
The perceived best benefit was a relaxed environment according to 33% of survey takers. This was followed by less stress (28%), improvement in work/life balance (18%), less guilt about leaving a pet at home (16%), and improvement in the pet’s mental health (4%).
But, those taking the survey also identified the possible cons of workplace pets:
- Allergic reactions—35%
- Too distracting—31%
- Too smelly—8%
- Too dangerous—6%
Clearly legitimate concerns.
Your doggy bag of insights
So, what can you take away from this study?
Since dogs were the most commonplace workplace pet, “man’s best friend” is really “employee’s best friend.”
And, most employees in the study who’d worked with pets said it was a positive experience.
As one survey participant said, “I used to take my 2 dogs to my old workplace. I loved it and so did my dogs. The other employees got very attached to the dogs. It was great!”
The study also showed a clear preference for pet-friendly workplaces overall.
And, employers, take note:
- 49% said that a workplace advertising as pet-friendly could convince them to take the job.
- 44% of pet parents would like their employers to implement a pet-friendly workplace.
The employees have spoken: pet-friendly policies and benefits are purrfect for a large percentage. Find more info about the study from LiveCareer.