Pet-related benefits provided by your firm may have an impact on your personnel and retention.
Pet ownership has increased as a result of the epidemic, and some companies are including pets in their benefits packages.
According to the ASPCA, nearly one in every five American homes adopted a pet between the start of the pandemic and May 2021. Now that firms like Microsoft and Wells Fargo are encouraging employees to return to work, some remote workers may be concerned about leaving their pets at home. Last year, a CertaPet survey of US dog owners found that 69 percent of respondents would like to work from home on a permanent basis for the benefit of their dog.
According to a research conducted by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans in 2020, less than 1% of responding firms provided paid pet "pawternity" leave—time off to care for a new pet—and slightly more than 4% allowed pets at work. Many Gen Z and millennial workers have stated that they would rather quit their job than leave their pets at home full-time, indicating that there appears to be a disconnect between what businesses provide and what pet owners want. Furthermore, 77 percent of respondents to a LiveCareer survey said they would welcome the option of "pawternity" leave.
Why are pet-related bonuses becoming more popular? According to a survey conducted by Banfield Pet Hospitals last year, roughly one-third of C-suite executives want to allow pets in the office when employees return. This could be due to the growing popularity of pets and pet-related spending, which has made pet-related benefits desirable to employees. "...[C]ompanies that have policies in place that facilitate a work-life balance are more attractive to the youthful workforce," according to a 2021 study from the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health (NCBI). As a result, for this new generation of professionals, pet-friendly regulations become increasingly vital."
One employer that offers pet insurance as a perk in its benefits package is Monster, an online job portal. "When employees are evaluating their benefits package, it is one of the more commonly talked about perks," said Claire Barnes, Monster's chief human capital officer. "We may foresee a greater demand for this type of benefit as more individuals adopt pets during the pandemic."
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Are dogs appropriate for your workplace? Although there are hazards connected with bringing dogs into the office, such as diversions, allergies, and potential legal issues, the NCBI study concludes that the overall results support the hypothesis that dogs can have a good impact in the workplace. Pet ownership, according to the CDC, has good benefits on mental health, anxiety, and even blood pressure.
While some organizations, such as Amazon, WeWork, and TripAdvisor, allow pets in the office, other experts believe the policy is not for everyone.
Maggie Fitzgerald, a benefits manager at Gusto, an online payroll and benefits platform, proposes other options for providing pet-friendly benefits than bringing them to work. Gusto doesn't allow pets in its Denver office, but Fitzgerald claims that this isn't a deterrent for potential employees because roughly half of the company's employees choose to work from home on a permanent basis, and new hires have the option to work remotely full-time.
Fitzgerald told HR Brew, "Pet incentives are part of our broader a-la-carte perks approach." Pet benefits are classified as wellness benefits at Gusto, so employees may use their perks account to pay for pet insurance, adoption fees, or a Furbo (a webcam with a remote treat dispenser) to keep a watch on their pets. Gusto even collaborates with a pet telehealth provider, allowing pet owners to avoid going to the clinic for minor diseases.
Should I Go Back To The Kennel? There are some drawbacks to having a dog-friendly office, according to Gamal Aly, head of talent and people at Fi, a smart-collar business that invites multiple dogs into its offices every day. Because tussles and accidents do happen from time to time, HR leaders should create ground rules, according to Aly. "You can't have 500 dogs and not convert it into a kennel," Aly explained to HR Brew. —KP