Searches for dog-friendly workplaces increase as people return to the office

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There’s a very hairy vibe running through the post-COVID workplace, at least in offices that are once again filling up with employees now that nearly all pandemic restrictions have been lifted.

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A growing number of companies have changed their workplace pet policies in response to requests from employees who have become attached to their dogs and cats while working remotely over the past two years, a new survey has found. from Barkbus, a luxury mobile grooming service for dogs. .

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The survey of 1,057 employers and workers found that internet searches for model workplace pet policies jumped 400% in the past year, and 71% of employees surveyed said their employers had updated their pet policies. Small businesses were 55% more likely than large ones to have changed their pet policies in the past year, but even large companies like Amazon, Google and Nestlé’s Purina allow employees to bring pets. pets at work.

This change has been greatly influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially when it comes to dogs, which are far less adaptable than cats to being left home alone. As the Barkbus report noted, dogs “started living their best lives” during the peak of the pandemic in remote work.

“Instead of being in crates during the workday, they were on our laps, taking frequent walks, soaking in hugs and bonding with their best friends,” the report said. “Working from home, the pet parents and their four-legged children were finally able to spend lots of quality time together.”

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Now that many employers have scaled back remote work, workers want to continue to bond in the office. Among the key findings of the Barkbus report:

  • 86% of employees would look forward to working more if they could bring their dogs to work every day.
  • If employees could bring their dogs to work every day, they would save an average of $138 per week by not having to use dog daycare centers or dog walkers.
  • The most sought-after perks for employees are bringing their dog to work on at least some days and having dog-friendly spaces inside and out.

Pet-friendly work environments are so important to workers that many prioritize pet policies over just about everything else. As GOBankingRates previously reported, another survey conducted by OnePoll found that approximately 60% of pet owners have left their jobs since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic because they returned to offices that weren’t doing enough to accommodate the animals. Seven in 10 respondents said they were willing to take a pay cut if it meant they could bring their pets to work.

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According to the Barkbus survey, more than a third (36%) of pet owners want their dog to work with them every day. A similar percentage (34%) would be content with designated dog days at the office, while 29% said they would at least like extra breaks to watch their dogs at home.

In addition to allowing dogs on the job, nearly a third of respondents (31%) said they would like to see their employers add pet insurance to their benefits package. Many also support a stipend for dog sitting, dog walking, or “paternity” leave that allows workers to stay home and care for sick or newly adopted pets.

The biggest concern for employers is that having pets in the office could reduce productivity. Only 18% of employers surveyed in the Barkbus survey said they would allow employees to bring their dog into the office every day, although 31% said they would allow it on certain days.

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