More than half of Ontario workers support allowing pets in the workplace

The return to a normal office environment may be welcome to many workers who have spent ages cooped up at home, but it’s got to be a confusing and lonely time for the pets who have grown accustomed to having their humans nearby to cater to their every whim for over two years.

A boom in the pet population during the pandemic years and the sudden desire for employees to return to physical workplaces has likely left our furry friends wondering where all the people went, and has workers stressing about their pets left home alone to fend for themselves.

But there’s a growing movement to bring dogs and cats into the workplace, a poll showing that the majority now support having the worlds of Fido and filing collide in an adorable tornado of shed fur and paperwork.

A recent poll conducted by Leger on behalf of PetSafe finds that over half of Ontario wants to work in pet-friendly offices, with 51 per cent of those surveyed supporting a ‘bring your pet to work’ initiative, regardless of pet ownership, in line with the national average.

Surprisingly, Ontario is among the provinces that polled with lower support for pets in the workplace, with British Columbia and the Maritimes both polling 61 per cent support for pets at work. Quebec was at the bottom of the rankings with just 38 per cent support.

Not only is the majority in favor of pet-friendly workplaces, but a large share would even prioritize working for a company with a pet-friendly office policy.

Almost one-third of Canadian pet owners admit that they would pass over other gigs to work somewhere their pet was also welcome, while 18 per cent ages 18-24 would even quit jobs to allow them to work from home if their employer doesn’t allow pets.

But while more than half of Canadians are in favor of pets in the workplace, pet owners don’t feel sure that their furry friends would be welcomed with open arms, only 37 per cent thinking their colleagues would be comfortable.

This flies in the face of the “73 per cent that agreed having a dog or cat in the workplace lifts their mood and reduces stress,” with another third claiming it would increase office productivity.

Aside from allergy concerns, it’s kind of a red flag when a boss tells you they don’t like pets. And everyone could use some tension-diffusing tail wags during a stressful day at the office.

But even if the majority wants pets at work, 49 per cent is a pretty big share who still prefer their workplace to be pet-free, for whatever inconceivable reasons.

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