The COVID-19 pandemic pushed many people to begin working from home. Quite an adjustment, but one that many pet owners are now wanting to be permanent. In fact, 67 percent of dog owners would consider changing jobs if their company no longer offers remote work, according to a survey conducted by Honest Paws, a cannabidiol (CBD) pet product company. Seventy-eight percent said that they would consider staying with their company if employees were allowed to bring their dog to work.
“During the pandemic, household dogs everywhere were treated to a rare luxury: the constant companionship of their human counterparts, where otherwise, such pets would normally endure eight hours or more alone in the house,” said Lily Velez, a holistic pet wellness professional and the blog manager for Honest Paws.
The survey, which included 400 U.S. dog owners who worked remotely during the pandemic, revealed that 35 percent of pet owners adopted their current dog during the pandemic, 49 percent already had a dog prior to the onset of the pandemic and 16 percent already had a dog but adopted another one during the pandemic.
The ability to work remotely has provided pet owners who brought home a new dog the time and space to bond with their new family member, and build an invaluable connection, Velez said in the blog.
“And for those who already had pets at home with whom they have an already existing bond, remote work has allowed them more one-on-one quality time with the animal that has led to enriching experiences,” Velez added.
There were also physical health benefits, according to the survey. Forty-two percent of the respondents working remotely during the pandemic reported that having their dog nearby gave them a reason to get outside more, and 81 percent said that they’ve been able to participate in new activities, including walking (58 percent), visiting a dog park (55 percent), hiking (55 percent), road trips (49 percent), playtime (47 percent), visiting a dog beach (30 percent) and dog-related classes (30 percent).
“With office work often being a sedentary position, location-independent flexibility offers a much-needed work/life balance that has allowed many to experience more physical activity, more fresh air, and more sunlight—all factors that contribute significantly to our physical and mental health,” Velez said.
Speaking of mental health, 88 percent of pet owners working remotely during the pandemic said that their dog’s companionship helped them to be more productive with their work, while 87 percent said that their dog’s companionship helped them to better cope with work-related stress.
“The above numbers are significant, considering work-related stress costs U.S. companies up to $300 billion every year and can lead to health issues in employees such as elevated blood pressure, anxiety, depression, an increased risk of substance abuse and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease,” Velez said.
So, what does the future of remote work hold?
“Many companies are still navigating what the future will look like for their employees, with some sticking to remote work for the time being and others starting to offer hybrid models that combine remote flexibility with a few days of in-office work,” Velez said.
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