Pet-friendly workplaces

make work fuzzier

When people talk about going back to the office this year, things might get a little hairy. Because not many offices allow pets… yet. 

The pandemic has been bad for about a million reasons, but one good thing is that people had more time at home to bond with their pets. And according to a recent Banfield survey, 57 percent of pet owners agree that they’ll be most happy returning to their workplace if they can bring their pets with them.

Can we bring our dogs? Please?!

Half the executives surveyed by Banfield say they’re planning to allow pets in the workplace when people return to the office. That’s encouraging. But we can do better!

If your employer hasn’t made up their mind yet, or is leaning against a pet-friendly office policy, maybe they need a friendly nudge. What if you wrote them an email? For example:

Dear [boss’s name],

I can’t wait to get back to the office! I miss the people, the buzz, and the free coffee. But one thing I’ll really miss if I’m not working from home is my 2-year old Puggle, Gus. He’s my main man, my work buddy, always sleeping in his little bed right here in my DIY home office. I’d love to bring him to work when we go back, even just for a couple days a week. Gus gets along with everybody, even other dogs, and work is just a lot better with him around.
Thank you!

If you do write to your boss, you won’t be the only one. Many survey respondents say they have or are planning to reach out to their employer requesting they implement a pet-friendly policy once offices open back up.

Will more workplaces become pet-friendly?

If we’re reading the tea leaves correctly – and the survey results – it seems likely that more employers will at least consider allowing pets at work. It makes a lot of sense: Of the employers surveyed who already have a pet-friendly policy, 42 percent say they’ve seen increased productivity among staff because pets are allowed at work. (They didn’t mention 100 percent more good vibes, but it’s a safe bet.)

Are there challenges to making a workplace pet-friendly? Sure. Can all workplaces allow dogs? Nope. If you’re a teacher, a cook, or operate heavy machinery, you’re probably going to have to go the doggy-daycare route instead. But hey, there are dogs sitting in on senior cabinet meetings in the White House now, so maybe anything is possible.