With the festive season behind us and the new year in full swing, employees have transitioned back to the familiar rhythm of balancing home and work life. For many the return to the work-life juggle after an end of year break can be challenging both physically and mentally. The change of pace takes some getting to used to, especially when there are children to consider, but also for those with beloved pets at home. In fact, with a staggering 57% of UK households owning pets it’s vital that leading employers recognise the need to provide Back-Up Care solutions that extend beyond traditional childcare or even eldercare offerings. In this article, we explore why it might be time for your organisation to include a valuable and often overlooked employee benefit: Pet Care.
For those who’ve had a break over the festive period, many employees find themselves readjusting to the demands of a structured schedule and work environment. This transition can be tough on pet owners who have grown accustomed to attending to their furry friends' needs throughout the day and in turn, fret about how their change in routine might affect their pet. As the excitement of the holidays gives way to a return to work, employees may grapple with the challenge of balancing work commitments with the wellbeing of their pets. The same can also be said for any return to work, be it after annual leave, maternity or paternity leave, a change in working patterns, or role and responsibilities.
Bright Horizons’ clients recognise that happy and healthy employees are more productive. This is borne out in our extensive research and years of helping organisations to deliver the best possible support for their people and their families, understanding and catering to the ever-changing social landscape. As of 2023, UK Pet Food’s Annual Survey findings show that 53% of adults in the UK own a pet, and that the largest group of these pets are dogs (31%). Furthermore, in Forbes’ pet ownership statistics report, it’s clear that many people perceive their pets to be family members and make decisions based on this premise. One stat even points out that 7.47% of dog owners stayed at a job they disliked because it allowed them to either work remotely or had a dog-friendly office. The way modern society feels about their pets – even in the extent to which they make work and lifestyle decisions based on their needs – is here to stay, so Pet Care as a back-up solution can act as a real differentiator.
Instead of viewing Pet Care as a mere convenience, it might be time to consider it an essential component of your employee wellness program. Below are three ways Pet Care can support your people, and therefore, your business…
Returning to work after a break can be stressful for employees and their pets alike. Having a Pet Care solution in place can help alleviate this stress by providing employees with the peace of mind that their pets are well cared-for during the workday. Whether it's a midday walk, playtime, or simply companionship, our partners in professional pet care ensure that employees can focus on work without the worry of their furry companions experiencing anxiety, presenting with stress symptoms, or missing out on much needed exercise.
Happy pets make for happy employees. By offering Pet Care as part of your benefits package, you're not just addressing a personal need; you're continuing to foster a positive and inclusive work environment. We recognise that families come in all shapes and sizes, and pets are hugely important members of the family unit for many employees. For some, pets are the family. Providing peace of mind around pet care frees your employees to be able to concentrate during working hours, which in turn significantly impacts their productivity. Satisfied employees are more focused, engaged, and likely to perform at their best, knowing that their pets are in good hands.
In a competitive job market, attracting and retaining top talent is crucial. By going beyond conventional benefits and offering innovative solutions like Pet Care, your company stands out as an employer that truly understands and cares for its employees and has its finger on the pulse of global trends. This can be a deciding factor for prospective hires and a compelling reason for existing talent to stay – and to rave about it.
Prospective employees are not just seeking a job; they are searching for an inclusive workplace that understands and meets their needs. The inclusion of Pet Care in your benefits package sends a powerful message to potential hires that your company values the holistic wellbeing of its employees.
Offering a unique perk like Pet Care can set your organisation apart, making it an attractive destination for top talent.
So, as employees transition back to work – be it remotely, hybrid, or in-office after the holidays, the thoughtful inclusion of Pet Care in your company's benefits package can make all the difference. It’s another modern, inclusive offering that supports not only the professional growth of your team but also their personal wellbeing.
In the journey back to routine, let Bright Horizons be your partner in creating a workplace culture that prioritises the holistic wellbeing of your employees—both inside and outside the office, no matter their needs.
Watch our video: Discover Pet Care today