A survey by Bloomberg conducted in January found that more than half of workers would quit rather than go back into the office. Now a survey by Banfield Pet Hospital finds that nearly half of Gen Z workers and one-third of millennials would rather quit their jobs than be forced to leave their pets at home all day.
Which is one reason why Sandy Greenberg, co-founder of Terri & Sandy, likes to joke that she heads up an ad agency but lately feels more like she’s running a doggy daycare.
Alongside partner Terri Meyer and a contingent of creative, account and strategy people, the office is a home away from home to a French Bulldog, two Havanese, an Australian Shepherd, a Long-Haired Dachshund and a 205-pound Great Dane who likes to drink from the kitchen faucet. “While our team still dabbles in advertising, most of our time is now devoted to blissful belly rubs, games of fetch and training 101,” Greenberg said.
Americans have grown especially close to their canine cohorts during the grueling slog of the pandemic, which has seen even more people embrace pet ownership. More than 23 million U.S. households—nearly one in five—adopted an animal during COVID, according to the ASPCA. As the pandemic peters out and offices open back up, a growing number of agencies are accommodating those relationships by offering allowances for pet care and pet insurance, setting up social media accounts devoted to their furry rank and file, and welcoming animals into the workplace.
It is one solution for making sure employees, especially younger ones, are happy, and keeping them from joining the Great Resignation by offering pet perks.
“Anxiety is ramping up for both pet parents and pets, as the reality of returning to the office sets in,” said Paul Guyardo, CEO of Fetch by The Dodo, a pet insurance company. “We are seeing, in quite dramatic fashion, employees rethinking their employment and work expectations. They are in the driver’s seat with the asks and demands of their employers. Pet parents are no exception.”