As Friday marks Take Your Dog to Work Day, the MSPCA finds that the majority of workers will consider moving to a more pet-friendly workspace if their pets cannot come to work with them.
The pandemic has left many Americans working from home, allowing for more emphasis on work-life balance. This includes spending more time with their pets.
But with more people returning to the office amid dwindling COVID cases, workers will have to leave their pets to return to the office. Although this is not what the majority want.
A Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Angell A survey of 500 pet owners found 92% supported pet-friendly offices, the MSPCA said in a statement.
53% of survey respondents said they would consider leaving their current job to join an organization with a pet-friendly office policy, while 4% said they were actively looking to make the move. Just 22% said they would not consider changing jobs because of their workplace pet policy, the MSPCA reported.
Employers would do well to heed workers’ preferences, the MSPCA said, as the labor market remains “intensely competitive.”
“The survey underscores what we have always known to be true: that a large majority want the ability to bring their pets to work, and that some workers are willing to seek out employers who value pets as much company than them. The survey clearly indicates that now is the time for employers to start thinking about developing office policies that accept pets as both a recruiting tool and incentive for retention,” said Kara Holmquist, director of advocacy for the MSPCA-Angell.
Holmquist noted that the MSPCA survey matches previous polls, such as a Survey 2021 which found that 71% of Gen Z workers — and nearly half of millennials — plan to ask, or have already asked, their employer to implement a pet-friendly office policy.
But setting up pet-friendly offices isn’t just about having them around. Some pet owners worry that their pets cannot live properly without their owners present.
44% of survey respondents said concerns about animal care impacted their decision to return to the office and when. More than half of those people expressed concern about their pet suffering from separation anxiety and just over a third said they were worried about finding daycare for their pet, the MSPCA said. .
Some suggestions made by Holmquist for a pet-friendly office include being transparent about office pet policy, considering others’ comfort with pets in the office, and keeping the area clean. if pets are present.
The MSPCA has an online resource dedicated to establishing pet-friendly office policies that can be viewed here.