Want Employees To Return To The Office? Then You Better Let Them Bring Their Pets.

August 17, 2021 by

It Turns Out That Man’s Best Friend Has More Leverage Than You Might Have Thought.  Many Employees Say Their Pet Is The Main Reason They Are Unwilling To Return To The Office.

As a result, many employers are preparing for a surge of furry new coworkers.

Roughly 1.6 million pets were adopted in 2020.1  Pets are loving family members for about 85 million Americans.1

Underscoring these animals’ importance is the reality that they provided solace and peace to employees who were battling anxiety, depression, and loneliness during the Covid-19 Pandemic.  Furthermore, the sheer uncertainty of how long the Pandemic would last drove many, many, people to adopt a pet.  They also had more than time to take care of a pet because they were no longer commuting to work.

“Pet owners, especially new pet owners, get very concerned about leaving their pet alone for extended periods of time,” says Patrick Murphy, CEO & Co-founder of a large software logistics company.  “So much so that they are willing to use their paid-time-off to be home with their pet, especially since ‘doggy daycare’ is not very affordable.”

“I am a big advocate of bringing pets to the office. I have never had a bad day at work when I’ve been accompanied by one of my dogs,” says Don MacPherson, CEO of consulting firm 12 Geniuses. “The stress reduction is significant and more people come to my office for impromptu conversations. Those conversations give me a better sense of what is going on in the company.”

The final upshot of all of this “pet pivot” is that employers are needing to re-think how they can manage pets in the office, including:

  • Offering pet insurance.
  • Consider having a limit to the number of pets allowed in the office.
  • Possible resolutions to when the pets might be “fighting like cats and dogs.”
  • How to make the office more pet friendly.
  • And, heavens forbid, waste management and who is responsible for cleaning up the “accident.”


1  Shelter Animal Count, August, 2021.


Kevin Sheridan is an internationally-recognized Keynote Speaker, a New York Times Best Selling Author, and one of the most sought-after voices in the world on the topic of Employee Engagement. For five years running, he has been honored on Inc. Magazine’s top 100 Leadership Speakers in the world, as well as Inc.’s top 100 experts on Employee Engagement. He was also honored to be named to The Employee Engagement Award’s Top 101 Global Influencers on Employee Engagement of 2017.

Having spent thirty years as a high-level Human Capital Management consultant, Kevin has helped some of the world’s largest corporations rebuild a culture that fosters productive engagement, earning him several distinctive awards and honors. Kevin’s premier creation, PEER®, has been consistently recognized as a long-overdue, industry-changing innovation in the field of Employee Engagement. His first book, Building a Magnetic Culture, made six of the best seller lists including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. He is also the author of The Virtual Manager, which explores how to most effectively manage remote workers.

Kevin received a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School in 1988, concentrating his degree in Strategy, Human Resources Management, and Organizational Behavior. He is also a serial entrepreneur, having founded and sold three different companies.

Email: kevin@kevinsheridanllc.com