The American workplace has experienced a massive shift in the past few years. Not only have the demographics shifted, with Millennials and Gen Z comprising the majority of workers, but the way we work has also shifted, largely spurred on by the pandemic. Consulting giant, McKinsey & Co. reports that 58% of workers are either hybrid or fully remote. This shift has caused HR benefits leaders to reassess their employee benefits strategy to accommodate a workforce comprising five generations at the same time. But it’s no longer enough to provide employee benefits that simply appeal to a wide range of people; they must also bring tangible value to both the employer and their staff.
Enter pet telehealth
Pet telehealth is similar to human telehealth, but for pets. And since 70% of the workforce are pet parents, it’s hard to discount the broad appeal and everyday utility this benefit category offers for employees. But that’s not all – there is a huge upside for businesses who offer pet telehealth to their employees. Not only does it bolster productivity, but it also increases feelings of inclusivity while supporting mental well-being—all of which serve to create a more satisfying workplace.
Pet telehealth gives employees the opportunity to stay focused on their work, facilitating fast and reliable answers to pressing pet health questions without having to take extended breaks away from their job. In the 2023 Pet Family Benefits Report, 75% of pet parents reported that they have trouble focusing when something is wrong with their pet. When employees are preoccupied with pet-related matters, the lack of focus negatively impacts productivity and the bottom line. Pet telehealth is a reliable and efficient way for employees to get the care their pets need, and on average these visits last only nine minutes. Instead of spending hours googling for answers and trying to secure a last-minute vet appointment, employees get the answers they need without having to waste time out of the office or take PTO.
Inclusive of all families
Fostering an inclusive corporate culture is top of mind with most human resources leaders and that means addressing the needs of a diverse workforce made up of all types of families. But until recently, HR leaders were missing a key demographic: pet parents. In fact twice as many employees are pet parents than parents of children. 95% of employees surveyed said that they considered their pet to be a member of their family, but family benefits have not considered them previously. Instead, family benefits have traditionally focused on the 35% of their workforce with children, ignoring the 70% that are pet parents. And employees are seeking out workplaces that respect the relationship they have with their pets. According to Mars, 59% of employees would choose to work for a company that is dog friendly over one that isn’t.
Pets improve mental well-being
Numerous studies have shown the positive mental influence pets have on their owners. Look no further than the pandemic, where pet adoption soared and pets helped employees keep a positive mindset during an extremely trying time. In the 2023 Pet Family Benefits Report, nearly 88% of pet parents said that their emotional well-being has improved since becoming a pet parent. And this is backed up by the American Heart Association which states “Pets at work may help reduce stress, increase productivity and improve employee satisfaction, teamwork and collaboration.”
Pet ownership isn’t a passing trend and increasingly, Americans believe their pets are an integral part of the family. Investing in pet telehealth isn’t just a meaningful benefit for employees who are pet parents, but it offers a multitude of bottom-line boosting benefits for businesses. Incorporating pet telehealth as an employee benefit creates a more inclusive workplace that improves productivity, mental well-being, and stress relief. All of these attributes heighten both worker satisfaction and work performance, ultimately resulting in happy and productive employees that feel valued by their employer. Benefit leaders who understand the needs of today’s workforce are providing modern solutions that meet employee requirements with this win-win benefit solution. Visit airvet.com/employers for more information.