More than three-quarters (78 per cent) of U.S. employees said they want their employer to offer paid leave after adopting a new pet, according to a new survey by LiveCareer.
The benefit was more popular among millennial workers (82 per cent) than their older counterparts (73 per cent). In addition, 77 per cent of all respondents said they want their employer to offer pet health insurance and 52 per cent said pet-friendly benefits and policies are important when considering an employer.
Among these respondents, 51 per cent said pets can boost socialization in the workplace, while 46 per cent would recommend a pet-friendly employer to a friend and 41 per cent said a pet in the office contributes to a sense of satisfaction with their job.
Read: Staff at U.S. firm welcome new pets with help of adoption benefit
The survey also found 76 per cent of respondents said they’ve had positive experiences in pet-friendly workplaces, citing a more relaxed environment (33 per cent), less workplace stress (28 per cent), improved work-life balance (18 per cent), less guilt about leaving their pet at home (16 per cent) and an improvement in their pet’s mental health (four per cent). And with pet adoption increasing during the coronavirus pandemic, 52 per cent of respondents said they felt more supportive of pets in the workplace.
Among employees who had negative experiences with pets in the workplace, 35 per cent cited allergic reactions, followed by increased distraction (31 per cent), unsanitary conditions (20 per cent), smell (eight per cent) and danger (six per cent).
And while dogs and cats (84 per cent and 50 per cent, respectively) were the most common pets in the workplace, respondents also reported working alongside fish (36 per cent), birds (24 per cent), rodents (seven per cent), amphibians (five per cent) and reptiles (three per cent).