It’s no mystery Americans love their furry friends and increasingly consider them family members. Banfield Pet Hospital set out to better understand the prevalence, impact, and perceptions of pet-friendly workplaces and other pet-related policies in its second annual PAWrometer™ survey.
Spoiler alert: While policies permitting pets in the workplace remain highly favorable for employees, other pet-related benefits like paid pet bereavement leave, general pet-related paid time off (PTO), and paid leave to care for a new pet—matter even more to workers.
Key Findings from the Survey
- Most employees said they would prefer other pet-related benefits (51%) over allowing pets in the workplace (39%);
- Of all pet-related benefits tested, general pet-related PTO received the highest rating from both employees (47%) and HR decision makers (54%); and
- 73% of employees would be more likely to accept a job offer from a company with pet-related benefits other than allowing pets at work.
However, Banfield’s findings show pet-friendly workplaces remain a strong draw to employees when it comes to retention and recruitment. Half of employees at non-pet-friendly workplaces reported they would be more likely to continue working at their current company if pets were allowed at the office, and 35% consider being able to bring their pet to work an important factor when looking for a new job.
“Banfield’s purpose to make a better world for pets is not just something we say, it’s something we live day in and day out in our office, too,” said Brian Garish, President, Banfield Pet Hospital. “With more than 20 years of welcoming dogs into our headquarters, we know first-hand the positive impact of pets in the workplace, and I love that we’re able to quantify the impact of pet-friendly policies through the PAWrometer survey data.”
Pet-Friendly Workplaces Most Desirable for Millennial Employees
According to Banfield’s PAWrometer 2017 findings, employees between the ages of 18 through 35, also known as Millennials, are particularly receptive to pet-friendly workplaces, with an overwhelming majority believing these work environments positively impact employees and company culture.
For instance, the study found Millennials are significantly more likely to find value in the positive impact pets at work have on employees (73%) and the workplace (70%) compared to non-Millennials, who are significantly less likely to share the same feelings, with 61% saying pets have a positive impact on employees—and even fewer (56%) on the workplace. Additionally, while 43% of Millennials at non-pet-friendly workplaces indicated they believe their employers should allow pets in the office, only 24% of non-Millennials feel the same.
The data also suggests pet-friendly policies are more likely to influence a Millennial’s job search, with 42% considering such programs important, compared to just 23% of older adults. Millennials are far more likely to continue employment at a company that implements pet-friendly policies (60%) in contrast to 39% of non-Millennials.
Pet-Friendly Policies Favorable Among HR Decision Makers
The survey also revealed HR decision makers are noticing the positive impact of pet-friendly workplaces and other pet-related policies. According to more than two-thirds of HR decision makers, the top five areas in which they noted improvements as a result of implementing pet-friendly policies include:
- Employee morale (93%);
- Reduced stress among employees (93%);
- Work/life balance (91%);
- Increased loyalty to the company (91%); and
- Reduced guilt among pet owners about leaving their pets at home (91%)
HR decision makers also report heightened interest in these policies from potential hires. Sixty-one percent say the majority of potential candidates inquire about pet-friendly policies during the interview process, regardless of whether it is mentioned proactively, and three quarters of HR decision makers at pet-friendly workplaces proactively discuss pet-friendly policies when recruiting new employees.
Additionally, among those companies that do not currently allow pets at work, at least two-thirds of HR decision makers agreed improvements would be seen across all facets of the workplace if pets were permitted.
Bonus: Pet-Adoption Rates Could Be on the Rise Thanks to Pet-Friendly Policies
“We’ve long recognized that pet-friendly policies positively impact everything from recruiting and hiring to morale, productivity, and retention, but our survey also revealed an unexpected benefit: the potential to favorably influence rates of pet adoption,” said Garish.
Banfield’s findings suggest that with more opportunities offered to employees to help care for pets during work hours, the number of pets adopted may increase. Its survey showed that more than one-third of employees and approximately half of HR decision makers at non-pet-friendly workplaces said they would get a pet or add another pet to their family if they were able to bring pets to work. Further, more than 60% of those surveyed in both audiences believed people would adopt more pets if their company offered pet-friendly policies.
For an executive summary and more information on the Banfield Pet-Friendly Workplace PAWrometer, visit Banfield.com/petsintheworkplace.