As the nation's workplace model shifted from remote to in-person, more Canadians are leaving their pandemic pets at home and returning to the office. Compared to pre-pandemic times, employees' attitudes towards a low-stress and enjoyable work environment has changed.
A recent survey from PetSafe finds that 51 per cent of British Columbians support pet-friendly workplaces. And about 61 per cent of workers in B.C. believe employers should consider a pet-friendly policy. The survey polled 1,633 Canadians in March, all 18 years of age and older.
Across the country, half of Canadians are also supportive of bringing pets to one's workplace, even if they don't have domestic animals.
Although 32 per cent of Canadians value a pet-friendly workplace policy, the survey notes that younger workers, Gen Zers, are more likely to change their jobs if an employer prohibits bringing animals into the office.
In fact, the majority of survey respondents agree that having pets in the workplace improves their mood and stress levels. Over the years, various studies including one from Washington State University found that stress levels dropped when people interacted with dogs or cats. Also, these interactions with domestic animals found that people were able to think, concentrate, and plan better.
But stress isn't the only enhanced aspect of a pet-friendly workplace. A preliminary study from Virginia Commonwealth University found that pets in the workplace help foster better connections amongst employees with more conversations taking place.
Acquiring a furry animal companion was common for many Canadians, with about 3 million pet adoptions taking place since the start of the pandemic.
June 24 marks National Take Your Pet to Work Day.
With files from Alanna Kelly, Glacier Media