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15 Feb 2024

3 ways pet care benefits are good for employee wellbeing

It might be time for your organisation to include an often overlooked employee benefit

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For many people, the post-festive return to the work-life juggle was challenging both physically and mentally. The change of pace takes getting to used to, especially when there are children to consider, but also for those with pets at home.

With 57% of UK households owning pets it’s vital that employers recognise the need to provide back-up care solutions that go beyond traditional childcare or even eldercare offerings. It might be time for your organisation to include a valuable and often overlooked employee benefit: pet care.

The transition back to the demands of a structured schedule and work environment can be tough on pet owners who have grown accustomed to attending to their furry friends’ needs throughout the day and, in turn, fret about how their change in routine might affect their pet.

The same can also be said for any return to work, be it after annual leave, maternity or paternity leave, a change in working patterns, or role and responsibilities.

Love me, love my dog

Happy and healthy employees are more productive. This is borne out in extensive research and Bright Horizon’s years of helping organisations deliver the best possible support for their people and their families, understanding and catering to ever-changing social needs.

As of 2023, latest research show that 53% of adults in the UK own a pet, while UK Pet Food’s annual survey findings say that the largest group of pets are dogs (31%). Furthermore, in Forbes’ pet ownership statistics report, it’s clear that many people consider their pets to be family members and make decisions based on this premise.

One stat even reveals that 7.47% of dog owners stayed at a job they disliked because it let them to either work remotely or they had a dog-friendly office. The way modern society feels about pets – even in the extent to which employees make work and lifestyle decisions based on their needs – is here to stay, so pet care as a back-up solution can act as a real differentiator.

Instead of viewing pet care as a mere convenience, it might be time to consider it an essential component of your employee wellness programme. Below are three ways pet care can support your employees and, therefore, your business

1. Cutting stress

Returning to work after a break can be stressful for employees and pets alike. Having a Pet Care solution can help alleviate this stress by giving employees the peace of mind that their pets are well cared for during the working day. Whether it’s a mid-day walk, playtime, or simply companionship, our partners in professional pet care ensure that employees can focus on work without the worry of their furry companions getting anxious, presenting with stress symptoms, or missing out on exercise.

2. Increased productivity

Happy pets make for happy employees. By offering pet care as part of your benefits package, you’re not just addressing a personal need; you’re fostering a positive and inclusive work environment.

For some, pets are family. Providing peace of mind around pet care frees employees to be able to concentrate during working hours, which in turn significantly affects their productivity. Satisfied employees are more focused, engaged, and likely to perform at their best, knowing that their pets are in good hands.

3. Talent attraction and retention

In a competitive job market, attracting and retaining top talent is crucial. By going beyond conventional benefits and offering innovative solutions like pet care, your company stands out as an employer that truly understands and cares for its employees and has its finger on the pulse of global trends. This can be a deciding factor for prospective hires and a compelling reason for existing talent to stay – and to rave about it.

Offering a unique perk like pet care can set your organisation apart, making it an attractive destination for top talent.

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