News & Information Blog

National Stafety Month - 2021 - Returning From COVID

By Susen Trail | 06/08/2021

Seldom has there been an economic and social disruption that has swept the entire world creating anxiety, fear, and depression. After a year of isolation at home with these feelings it is small wonder that the transition back to the workplace is harder to implement than sending the workers out of the workplace last year. One of the coping mechanisms many of our workers turned to at home was to get an animal companion.

According to a new survey from Banfield Pet Hospital, millennials and Gen-Z stuck at home, working or not, got themselves a new buddy during the COVID social and economic shut down.  In fact, one out of three of the general population and one out of two of the Gen Z population got a new pet and now have to figure out how to manage their care when away at work.  (Gen Z are people born between 1997 and 2012, so 24 to 9 years old, Business Insider)

Sad to say, one in five of the people surveyed say they will be making a choice between keeping their pet or returning to the office.  One in three of the Gen Z's, saying they will consider rehoming their pet.  Even before the pandemic, Deloitte surveys showed Gen Z had a short attention span, with 61% saying they would move on from their job within the next two years.  This is considerably higher than the 43% of Millennials saying the same, with only 28% saying they intended to stay at least five years. 

The Banfield survey found that 57% stated they would be happy to return to work if they could bring their pets.  Their reasons were:

  • 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.

In a time when even McDonalds is offering paid time off to bring in and retain employees, business' need to get inventive and proactive to bring back, hire, and retain employees.  The survey showed that 50% of C suite executives are planning to allow pets in the workplace and 59% will be more flexible about working remotely.  Of the executives surveyed those that were considering a pet friendly policy gave the following reasons:

  • 59% said they're doing so because of employee requests.
  • 58% cite understanding their staff has gotten used to spending all day with their pets during the pandemic.
  • 42% say they want to entice their employees back into the office.

Perhaps their loyalty to their new pets will improve their loyalty to their employers.

If you are considering a pet friendly policy, or looking for ammo to get your boss to convert, The Mars Petcare's Better Cities For Pets™ program provides a Pets Work at Work™ Toolkit to explain the upside and management of pet friendly work places.

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