A new survey, or PAWrometer™, on pet in the workplace seems to reveal a mostly positive impact pet-friendly workplaces have on employees and Human Resources decision makers alike. The survey was produced by Banfield Pet Hospital in Washington.
The vast majority of responses indicate that pet-friendly workplaces have a positive impact (employees: 70 percent; HR decision makers: 77 percent), boost morale (employees: 88 percent; HR decision makers: 91 percent) and contribute to talent retention and loyalty (employees: 82 percent; HR decision makers: 91 percent). In addition, 64 percent of HR decision makers at pet-friendly companies report that candidates inquire about pet policies, indicating pet-friendly workplaces provide employers with a competitive edge in the recruitment process.
While more than one in five employees and HR decision makers report that their employers allow them to bring pets to the office, half of all pet-friendly workplaces do not a have a formal pet policy; of these, roughly half of respondents believe it would be difficult to implement a pet-friendly policy. That said, three-quarters of HR decision makers that have implemented such a policy reported the implementation process was not difficult.
“It is clear that there is a growing desire among employees and HR decision makers to allow pets at work, and now we can demonstrate the positive impact on a company and its workforce,” said Tami Majer, senior vice president, people and organization for Banfield Pet Hospital. “We truly hope this research will expand the discussion around pets at work by adding further momentum to the movement and showcasing the need for company policies that respect both pets and employees.”
The survey uncovered overwhelming agreement among employees and HR decision makers regarding the benefits of allowing pets in the workplace, including:
- Reduced stress (employees: 85 percent; HR decision makers: 92 percent);
- Improved workplace relationships (employees: 79 percent; HR decision makers: 95 percent);
- Greater work-life balance (employees: 85 percent; HR decision makers: 91 percent);
- Increased productivity (employees: 67 percent; HR decision makers: 81 percent); and
- Decreased guilt over leaving pets at home (employees: 86 percent; HR decision makers: 92 percent).
Amidst the overwhelmingly positive sentiment from both employees and HR decisions makers, some respondents expressed uncertainty around impacts on the workplace. While a majority of HR decision makers at non-pet-friendly companies agree that a pet-friendly policy would benefit their company, some voiced hesitation about implementing a policy. Approximately half cited concerns about potential distractions and complaints from employees and seven in ten reported concern about health- or allergy-related issues. Importantly, at companies that do allow pets, 95 percent of HR decision makers believe their pet-friendly policy is working and that employees should be allowed to continue bringing pets to their workplace.
“We understand why some employers may feel uncertain about having pets in the workplace, but our research shows these apprehensions may very well be outweighed by the positives.” said Majer. “In most cases, when employers decide to allow pets at work, it has a tremendously positive effect on employees, morale, productivity, retention and recruitment.”
Additional PAWrometer findings:
- Pet-friendly workplace policies have a positive impact on potential pet ownership—22 percent of non-pet owners and 39 percent of current pet owners would consider adding a pet to their household if their workplace was pet-friendly.
- Pet insurance is the most requested pet-related benefit with 23 percent of employees at pet-friendly companies and 38 percent of employees at non-pet-friendly companies wishing it were offered.
- HR decision makers take advantage of pet-friendly workplace policies more than employees, with 75 percent saying they bring their pets on a weekly basis, compared to 42 percent of employees.
- Interest in pet-friendly offices is on the rise, with 60 percent of HR decision makers agreeing that more potential employees are showing an interest in bringing pets to work during the recruitment process.
More information and a full executive summary on the Banfield Pet-Friendly Workplace PAWrometer is available here.
About the Banfield Pet-Friendly Workplace PAWrometer
The survey, the first ever to measure both employee and HR decision maker sentiment, was developed to explore the prevalence, impact and perceptions of pet-friendly workplaces as relates to employees and company culture. The survey is produced by Banfield Pet Hospital. The Banfield Pet-Friendly Workplace PAWrometer surveyed 1,006 employees and 200 HR decision makers from a mix of company sizes and industries across the U.S. from January 19 to February 2, 2016. The survey was administered online and all respondents were recruited from an online research panel and screened to ensure they meet the following criteria:
- HR DECISION MAKERS: U.S. adults age 18 or older who work in an office environment at least three days per week, have a Director/VP level or above job title, and are responsible for decisions on HR policy and benefits for their company.
- EMPLOYEES: U.S. adults age 18 or older that work in an office environment at least three days per week.