As many people adjusted to the extended work-from-home conditions over the last year, our four-legged friends served as our ever-present companions, favorite new colleagues, and a source of happiness during a time of uncertainty. In fact, new research from Purina found that 76% of pet owners working from home report they've been happier doing so with their pet by their side. Yet, many are hesitant about the transition back to the workplace without their pets, with 73% expressing concern about how their pets will react to their sudden absence. With office reentry plans top-of-mind for many employers, employee safety and mental health should be at the center of all return-to-office tactics – and those plans should include pets.
Purina, a champion for pet-friendly workplaces, and a pet-friendly employer for more than 20 years, has seen first-hand the benefits of welcoming pets to the office, including improved mental well-being, employee retention and recruiting, and overall increased happiness and productivity. According to the Purina study, working from home has primed employers and employees for a world where pets are a welcomed addition to the workplace moving forward.
"Now is the time to seriously consider the role that pets have had and will continue to have in the lives of employees," said Nina Leigh Krueger, CEO and President of Purina. "Introducing pets into the workplace creates a cultural shift that brings people together, offers stress relief and fun, and increases productivity. Incorporating a pet-friendly office policy now also will help the pets who have supported us throughout this time adjust to a new reality."
Purina offers the following recommendations for employees and employers interested in exploring a pet-friendly workplace:
Purina has many additional resources for companies that are interested in making this transition, including a Pets at Work Starter Kit and an employer toolkit to help guide companies and their employees toward a better, more integrated workplace for our furry friends.
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