When it comes to navigating the world of employee benefits, there’s a lot to take in, especially if you’re a first timer. Among the suite of benefits you’re likely to be offered, voluntary benefits are often misunderstood. What are Some Examples of Voluntary Benefits? Voluntary benefits include a variety of options, all designed to...
What you Need to Know When Creating a Pet-Friendly Workplace
According to a 2021 survey conducted by the ASPCA, one in five American households adopted a cat or a dog. With many employees having returned to the workplace after working from home for months or years, having additional options and flexibility for pet care is important to them. In a survey conducted by TIME, 1,500 pet owners said they would rather quit their jobs than leave their COVID pets at home. Having options can increase recruitment and retention challenges for companies with a pet-friendly workplace, pet sitting discounts and more.
Allowing Dogs or Other Pets in the Office
In 2022, there were 69 million households with a dog and 45.3 million households with a cat. About 70% of U.S. households have a pet. Allowing pet owners to bring their pets to the office can create a more social environment because pets can help break the ice and encourage collaboration among co-workers.
Employers can experience benefits from allowing pets in the office. Having furry friends along can create higher participation in work events that include pets, such as dog walks or charity drives. It can also create greater collaboration with employees and bring in talent from the attention of these events.
When having spaces like these, employers should think about what they can do for the office when introducing a pet-friendly workplace. This might include having lint rollers available, lawns available for business, baby gates for offices or new vacuums for the fur.
There is a lot of effort that goes into creating this environment, but it comes with great positives. According to The National Institute of Health, the connection between co-workers and dogs goes so far that the benefits of mandatory lunch breaks is an enormous stress release. This is due to the exercise and fresh air that goes with walking their dog. Many employees skip their breaks to work within high-workload companies.
Recruiting and Retention With a Pet-Friendly Workplace
Providing a pet-friendly workplace is a great way to boost your recruiting efforts because it is a unique benefit. In 2021, only 7% of U.S. companies allowed pets in the office according to Benefit News. Workers who own pets often struggle to find a job that will accommodate their furry friends, so offering a pet-friendly workplace can be a great way to stand out from the competition. This can help attract top talent and bring in the best possible employees.
In terms of retention, offering a pet friendly workplace can keep employees happy and motivated. Pets offer companionship and can reduce stress which can lead to increased productivity. This can keep employees engaged and content with their job. Also, with the prevalence of pet ownership, allowing pets in the workplace can demonstrate a company’s commitment to employee satisfaction.
Things to Think About With a Pet-Friendly Workplace
Before welcoming furry friends into the office, employers should consider some key points. First, let’s consider the health and safety for everyone in office such as:
- Pet allergies
- Potential damage to the office environment
- Behavior of animals
Making sure pets have been properly trained and socialized is important, so you should consider having an agreement with pet owners about certain behaviors.
Also, consider “bring your dog to work day” as a starting point for a pet-friendly workplace.
It is a great first step to becoming a permanent pet friendly workplace, but being able to prepare is important. Making sure everyone signs agreements about damage to the office or others is important. Being able to analyze what happens during this day could help determine if that could be a permanent thing for your employees. But if not prepared, the day will not go well. Not every dog is a workplace dog, and not every workplace is fitted for pets if not acclimated.
Provide Benefits, Insurance or Discounts Instead
You can support your pet-owning employees in other ways! Offering pet insurance can protect both the business and its employees, and it can help to reduce financial burden. This can protect any potential financial liabilities associated with pet-related incidents and cover for any potential legal fees if a pet causes harm to another person or property.
Pet-sitting discounts can be a great way to show your employees that their furry friends are valued. This can help relieve stress and anxiety, because pet owners won’t have to worry about finding reliable, affordable pet care while they are in the office. This can also reduce absenteeism and tardiness, as well as attracting new talent to the company.
Bring Pets on Business Trips
Just like having a pet in the workplace, bringing one on a business trip also has the same benefits such as reducing stress, providing companionship and increasing social interaction. This can also ensure that the employee on the trip is not worried about their pet at home. Pets can also bring a sense of security and familiarity within unfamiliar places. This can help the employee focus on something else rather than the stresses of a business trip.
The information in this blog post is for educational purposes only. It is not investment, legal or tax advice. For legal or tax advice, you should consult your own counsel. To stay up to date on benefits trends and insights, subscribe to our blog.