A recent survey by Banfield Pet Hospital highlights critical findings that HR leaders looking to enhance employee experience post-pandemic should understand: the growing call from employees for pet-friendly policies and workplaces.

Since the pandemic began, nearly 1 in 3 Americans adopted a pet, and now upwards of 67% of households boast at least one animal. With organizations struggling to retain top talent, mitigate employee mental health concerns, and implement wellness programs that meet new employee expectations, Banfield’s survey of pet parents highlights the need for comprehensive pet policies to be an important consideration.

The survey findings are especially relevant as employers plan the return to the workplace and many remote workers must leave their pets alone for the first time in nearly two years:

How do pet parents feel about returning to work and leaving?
38% cite being worried their pet will experience separation anxiety
37% want the companionship of their pet at work
28% think their pets can help keep them calm during those stressful workdays
23% say they’ll be more productive with their pet as a desk mate
71% of Gen Zers and 48% millennials have or are planning to reach out to their employer requesting they implement a pet-friendly policy”

Though health benefits aimed at family planning are more common, pet benefits and pet-friendly policies are growing in popularity as ways to offer more equitable total compensation to all employees. According to Banfield, here’s how leaders have reacted to employee demand:

“1 in 2 C-suite executives said they’re planning to allow pets in the workplace upon return to the office

59% said they’ll allow more flexibility for workers wanting to stay remote with their pets

42% say they want to entice their employees back into the office

45% will provide financial support for veterinary care

37% will offer pet bereavement leave

41% will offer “pet-ernity” or “paw-ternity” leave for new pet owners

And 40% also offer paid time off to take a pet to the veterinarian”

Read the full survey from Banfield Pet Hospital

Photo by Meruyert Gonullu.

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