The pet boom is a global phenomenon that has led to an increase in the demand for pet-friendly workplaces

In 2022, the rising costs of pet care and calls to return to work led to a 75 percent increase in the number of pets surrendered at Toronto shelters when compared with 2021.

Pet-owning workers have therefore been considering the employer’s position on pet-friendliness. OnePoll’s survey of March 2022 revealed that six out of ten pet-owning employees left their jobs to work in a pet-friendly workplace, and seven out of ten were willing to trade pay in exchange for a dog-friendly office.

Employers who want to retain employees should consider pet-friendly workplace options.

Trend: Pet-friendly workplace

survey conducted among 500 senior executives found that 70 percent of respondents expected workplaces to be pet-friendly following the pandemic. Half said they planned to welcome pets back to work when they returned.

The level of commitment to pet-friendliness is divided into high and low. Low-commitment strategies include offering pet insurance to employees. High-commitment policies allow pets at the workplace.

The trend for pet-friendly workplaces started before the pandemic. However, the increase in pet ownership after the pandemic and the challenges that many pet owners faced post-pandemic have re-energized discussions about pet-friendliness.

This trend is being led by big tech companies like Google or Hootsuite, as well as smaller independent businesses, where the owners and founders of these businesses bring their pets to work.

Rogers Insurance, for example, welcomes dogs to its offices and meetings. It also offers bereavement leave in case of pet loss. Has a Chihuahua Corner in their officeMars Canada has a courtyard at its headquarters for dogs and offers paid time off to care for new pets. , Hootsuite’s pet-friendly workplace since 2008, credits their “laid back friendly” culture.

The benefits of having a pet at work

Employers are increasing their pet-friendly credentials to encourage workers to return to work and to retain them. Some employers are even allowing pets in the workplace.

There are other reasons why employers should consider adopting pet-friendly policies besides retaining their employees: the benefits of a positive workplace culture. Pet-friendliness offers employees and employers numerous benefits, such as generous maternity policies or progressive flextime policies.

Employee productivity, morale, and commitment are all improved when workplaces allow pets. (Shutterstock)

academic findings and news articles both indicate that pet-friendly work environments provide a more welcoming culture at the workplace and improve employee satisfaction. This results in increased employee productivity and engagement.

Pets can be used as icebreakers to improve mood, morale, feelings of trust, and coworker interaction.

Suggestions to improve workplaces

Pet-owning employees can be accommodated in different ways by organizations. As human resource specialists, we advise organizations that are interested in welcoming pets to work to work with them. They should work closely together with the landlord or leasing agent so they can ensure that there is space for pets.

Green spaces such as playgrounds and parks for play and exercise should be provided near or at workplaces.

The human resources department should have on-hand supplies like toys, treats, cleaning products, and waste bags. We also recommend that pets be kept in designated areas, such as offices or cubicles. They can be confined behind baby gates, in exercise pens or crates, or leashed with chew-proof tethers.

To help screen dogs for workplaces, organizations should explore other certifications like the Canine Good Citizen program provided by the American Kennel Club or the Canine Good Neighbour program supplied by the Canadian Kennel Club.

Pet-friendly organizations don’t have to allow pets to enter their premises in order to show that they care about employees who own pets. Pets can be a great support to pet owners if they are recognized as legitimate non-work responsibilities.

Organizations can also help educate pet owners about the importance of pet care. They can provide pet benefits, permit occasional visits by pets, and stress flexibility in pet care.

The pet policy should explain how the company will align its human resource management, including hiring, compensation and equity, diversity, inclusion, and health and safety, with its stance on pet friendliness. The creation of pet-friendly policies must be done in consultation with employees, taking into account all their needs and concerns. They should also be reviewed on a regular basis.

Pets are part of the family.

Pet ownership is on the rise, and organizations are responding to this trend. Companion animals will continue to be a major part of employees’ families, so organizations need to consider their responsibilities toward pet-owning employees.

For millions of employees and customers, pets are part of the family. Pet-friendliness is a topic that organizations should consider carefully in relation to their goals, employee values, and workplace and industry culture.

The ongoing pet homelessness is a crisis that organizations are at the heart of because they play a crucial role in determining whether or not employees can keep their pets.

Recognizing the importance of animals in the lives of people, organizations should take on animal care and companionship responsibilities.

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