Jun 23, 2022 - Economy & Business

More companies allow dogs to come to office in remote work era

Dog sits on lap of person typing on computer

Photo: Dave Chan/AFP via Getty Images

More dogs are heading to work each day with their pet parents, whether it's remotely in the home office or company headquarters.

The big picture: Remote work has grown dramatically during the pandemic and pet ownership has boomed with more than 23 million households adding a pet, a survey from Cesar Canine Cuisine found.

  • Friday is the annual National Take Your Dog to Work Day, a made-up day that was created in 1999.
  • Companies are hosting in-person and virtual celebrations for their furry coworkers Friday, said Pet Sitters International, who created the day.

Bring your dog to work day benefits

Context: More than half of dog owners said in a Cesar brand survey that they felt bringing their dogs to work would encourage them to take breaks (55%) and foster more social interaction in the workplace (52%).

  • 89% said it's important for them to continue spending time with pets during the workday.
  • Two-thirds of pet parents would bring their pets to work if allowed.
  • Mars Petcare launched the "Cesar Hire My Dog" program in March to inspire more businesses to become more pet-friendly and "help pet parents advocate for their dogs in the workplace."

By the numbers: More businesses have voluntary pet insurance with 35.1% of private employers offering policies compared to 24.1% in 2020, according to preliminary survey data from the Wisconsin-based International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.

  • The foundation’s survey is still ongoing but preliminary data shows that 5% of workplaces allow pets at work compared to 4.5% in 2020.
  • A 2019 survey of employers by The Society for Human Resource Management found that 11% of companies allowed dogs.

What they're saying: “Now, more than ever, employers are looking for ways to boost employee morale,” Beth Stultz-Hairston, Pet Sitters International president, said in a statement.

  • “With research showing what a positive impact dogs had on their owners during the pandemic, celebrating that special human-animal bond seems even more important this year,” Stultz-Hairston added.
  • Julie Stich, vice president of content at the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, said in an interview with Axios that some employers are looking at programs that allow workers to bring pets with them "as ways to attract and retain their employees."
  • "It's something that employees want because sometimes your pet is like your family," Stich said, adding some employers offer "pawternity" leave.

Meanwhile, the challenges of remote work are getting harder to ignore with a growing number of corporate executives wanting to put an end to the work-from-home revolution, Axios’ Javier E. David reports.

  • 7.4% of American workers are teleworking because of COVID, down from a pandemic era high of around 35%, according to federal data.

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Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details about Mars Petcare's "Cesar Hire My Dog" program.

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