Top Pet-Friendly Workplaces with Pawsitive Perks

Top Pet-Friendly Workplaces with Pawsitive Perks

Work blissfully alongside your pet at these top pet-friendly companies.

In recent years, companies have undergone a profound transformation in their approach to workplace culture with one trend standing out prominently—the rise of pet-friendly workplaces. A striking example of this trend is the recent hiring announcement from the renowned ride-hailing company, Ola. In an unexpected move, the Founder and CEO of Ola, Bhavish Aggarwal, proudly introduced the newest addition to their team through his social media platform—a charming dog named Bijlee.

What makes Bijlee’s recruitment particularly noteworthy is the title bestowed upon her by the company—Ola Electric ID cardholder. This playful yet symbolic gesture emphasizes the company’s deep connection to its electric vehicle (EV) business, with “Bijlee,” meaning electricity in English, signifying the company’s commitment to sustainable transport solutions.

This heartwarming example highlights the growing recognition of the positive impact pets can have in the modern workplace. Multiple studies have shown that pet-friendly policies improve employee well-being and work experience. In fact, a survey revealed that an astounding 76 percent of respondents reported highly positive experiences with pets in the workplace. These experiences include increased opportunities for socialization among coworkers, as the presence of pets acts as a natural icebreaker, fostering stronger connections and camaraderie.

In this article, we will delve into some of the top pet-friendly workplaces that go beyond merely allowing pets in the office. These companies understand that pets are not just companions but also valuable contributors to a positive work atmosphere. From dedicated pet play areas and on-site pet care services to comprehensive pet-friendly policies and amenities, these organizations have set the bar high when it comes to creating a truly pet-inclusive work culture.

Pawternity leave

Similar to the concept of parental leave, “pawternity” leave is a special benefit provided to employees who have recently welcomed a new furry addition to their family, either through pet adoption or the birth of a pet. Just as parental leave supports the well-being of growing families, pawternity leave recognizes the importance of giving pets the attention and care they need to adapt to their new homes and settle in comfortably.

One of the pioneering companies in offering pawternity leave is Mars Petcare, renowned for producing brands like Whiskas and Pedigree. The company actively encourages its employees to engage in discussions with their managers to plan their time off when adopting a new pet. Moreover, the company’s new U.S. headquarters, situated in a suburb of Nashville, Tennessee, boasts a fantastic perk—an on-site “doggy playcare” staffed with full-time pet-sitters.

In addition to Mars Petcare, several other companies, like mParticle (a consumer data management company), HarperCollins Publishers and BrewDog (a craft beer company), have also embraced this pet-friendly workplace trend.

Pet insurance

With the increasing significance of pets in people’s lives, there is a growing demand among workers for various pet-related policies. The Barkbus survey reveals that 31 percent of employees express a strong desire for pet insurance to be included in their benefits package, making it an attractive offering for employers to attract and retain pet-loving talent.

Pet insurance serves as a safety net for employees, offering coverage for unexpected medical expenses related to their pets. Just like human health insurance, basic pet insurance provides reimbursement for unforeseen injuries or accidents, encompassing surgical procedures, illnesses, medications, non-preventive tests or diagnostics, as well as emergency care and associated examination fees. Offering pet insurance as part of employee benefits can also lead to improved work-life balance for pet owners, as they can focus on their job responsibilities without worrying about potential financial burdens related to their pets’ healthcare.

Over 5,000 renowned companies, such as Xerox, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Ikea and Yahoo, offer pet insurance as a valuable work perk, demonstrating their commitment to cultivating a pet-friendly work environment.

Pets at work

Many companies are recognizing the needs of single pet owners who have to go to work and are implementing policies that allow employees to bring their pets to the workplace. This not only benefits the pet owners who can avoid leaving their pets alone at home but also contributes to a more pleasant and relaxed atmosphere in the office.

 A study conducted by Central Michigan University highlights the positive impact of having a dog in a group office setting. The presence of a dog encourages greater cooperation, communication and friendliness among employees compared to groups without a dog. This finding suggests that having pets at work can significantly improve the overall dynamics and interactions within the workplace.

As a frontrunner in this trend, e-commerce company Amazon initiated its Dogs at Work program more than 25 years ago at its headquarters in Seattle, the USA. The program not only welcomes pets but also offers a diverse and engaging events schedule open to all employees. From virtual dog treat baking classes and ask-a-veterinarian seminars to lively street fairs featuring dog pools, doggie swag and agility courses, the program ensures there’s something exciting for everyone. Today, the program’s success is evident, with over 10,000 registered dogs happily occupying more than 140 Amazon buildings.

Pet stipend

A pet stipend is a monthly financial allowance provided by employers to assist employees with the costs associated with services like dog-walking, pet-sitting or other forms of pet daycare. The perk has become increasingly popular during the pandemic, as many employees have grown accustomed to spending their workdays at home with their pets.

Rover, a U.S.-based online marketplace for pet care services like pet sitting and dog boarding, offers a generous US$1,000 stipend to support employees in adopting or fostering a dog. In addition to Rover, the global financial technology company DailyPay also provides its employees with a pet stipend. They can spend this monthly allowance as they wish. Whether they want to hire a dog walker or cat sitter to come to their home or take their pet to daycare, the choice is entirely up to them.

Redefining modern office culture

Launching pet-related perks in the workplace is a rapidly growing trend that reflects the evolving dynamics of modern work environments. In Banfield’s survey of 500 C-suite executives, nearly half of them expressed intentions to introduce pet-friendly policies in their workplaces, aligning with major companies which have already embraced this concept.

What’s more, a substantial portion of these executives, approximately 59 percent, cited employee requests as the primary motivation behind the decision to adopt these new pet-friendly policies. 

Companies are also going above and beyond by offering services like dog walking, on-site dog parks, mobile grooming and paid pet bereavement leave. These initiatives cater to pet owners’ practical needs and foster empathy, camaraderie and overall well-being within the workforce. In essence, integrating these pet-friendly policies not only reshapes office culture and dismantles barriers but also nurtures an atmosphere of inclusivity and warmth, benefiting everyone involved.

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Header image courtesy of Pexels


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