Most Pet Owners Would Take a Pay Cut In Order to Bring Their Furbaby to Work

Group of young business people working at the pet friendly office.
SrdjanPav / Getty Images

Note to employers: If you want to find and keep workers during the current labor shortage, put out some pet bowls and free up office space for your team’s furry family members. Otherwise, you might find some of your employees heading for the exit.

See: How Your Pandemic Pet Helped Raise General Mills’ Fiscal 2022 Outlook
Find: 6 Ways To Save Money on Dog Food and Other Pet Supplies

About 60% of pet owners have left jobs since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic because they returned to offices that didn’t do enough to accommodate pets, according to a new survey of 2,000 employed pet owners.

The survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Vetster, found that 71% of respondents have made a “significant life change” because of their pets, the StudyFinds website reported. Six in 10 said they quit jobs because their employers were not pet-friendly. The survey was conducted ahead of National Pet Day on April 11, 2022.

Seven in 10 respondents said they’re willing to accept a pay cut if it means they can bring their pets to work. A similar percentage said they would benefit more from a pet-friendly office now than they would have before the pandemic.

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Nearly half of those polled (48%) believe their pets have helped improve their productivity at work — including more than half of both cat (56%) and dog (53%) owners. Small animals such as rabbits and ferrets were the most likely to inspire workers and boost their productivity.

“Our data shows that many pet parents have had positive experiences when their pets have played a role in the workplace,” Vetster CEO Mark Bordo said in a statement. “Pets can help create and maintain a positive culture at work while improving people’s mental health and fostering friendships between colleagues.”

The good news for pet owners is that many workplaces are beginning to be more accommodating. More than four in 10 (42%) of respondents said their offices now stock bowls and other pet supplies.

Spending time with pets reduces workplace anxiety for the vast majority of respondents. But more than half said they still feel guilty taking care of their pets during working hours.

Find: Trouble Retaining Workers? Try Implementing These Fun, Quirky Job Perks
See: Gen Z May Never Work in an Office, but at What Cost?

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“We’ve normalized taking care of kids during working hours, so why not include all members of the household?” Bordo said. “Companies can do their part by giving employees a full- or half-day off to care for their fur friends, donating to a charity of their choice, or organizing a pet meet-up on National Pet Day.”

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.

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