Almost no one has enjoyed this pandemic year, with one notable exception -- pets. The world's dogs are overjoyed their humans have been home all day for months, and the huge spike in adoptions during lockdown can only be good news for pets in need of homes.
But now the end of the pandemic is slowly coming into sight as the pace of vaccinations picks up. Will life after Covid be as kind to our beloved fur babies as life during Covid?
A new survey offers good news for the nation's anxious pets (and their owners). It looks like Covid has convinced a lot more bosses of the virtues of pet-friendly workplaces, as well as flexible schedules that allow pet owners more time with their furry friends.
Lockdown has converted more bosses into pet lovers
First off, if worries about how your pet will cope with your sudden absence have been clouding your joy at the prospect of an end to the pandemic, know you're not a weirdo. In a recent survey conducted by Banfield Pet Hospital and OnePoll, 63 percent of pet owners reported that increased time at home has made them think more about how their pets will cope with their post-pandemic workday. A particularly stressed-out 32 percent have discussed how to handle the transition with their vet.
But the same poll offers reason for optimism for anxious pet owners. A full half of executives surveyed said they are planning to allow employees to bring their pets to work when they return to the office, while 59 percent will allow more flexibility for owners to tend to their pets.
This newfound pet friendliness may be due in part to bosses' own lockdown experiences with their beloved pets (75 percent said being a pet owner has made them a better, more compassionate business leader, a belief backed by research), but it also reflects a hard-nosed desire to eventually lure employees back to the office. More than half (59 percent) of executives said their plans were motivated by employee requests, while 42 percent admitted the perk was meant to entice employees back to in-person work.
Making the case for dog-friendly offices
Of course, this is only one, nonscientific survey, so take the results with a grain of salt, but the findings do line up with other expert commentary arguing that employers are going to have to offer additional perks if they want to entice top talent back into the office after more than a year of remote work.
It also pairs with research showing dogs at work make us more collaborative and less stressed (though consideration for allergy sufferers and other colleagues who are less than thrilled about having furry officemates is a must).
So, employees, if you're worried about how your dog might cope post-pandemic, try testing the waters with your boss to see if she might be open to canine co-workers. And bosses, if you're looking to tempt your people back to the office, setting out a water bowl and a few good chew toys might be one way to consider doing it.