Celebrating our furry friends: how pets help us create a better working environment
While some have unintentionally joined a Zoom meeting looking like a cat, others may have their pup walking around the back of their video calls. As our home and office lives blend together, pets have become ever-present in the world of hybrid collaboration, and that shows no signs of slowing. In fact, people live with animals now more than ever before, with a 2021-2022 survey from the American Pet Products Association (APPA) revealing that 70% of U.S. households own a pet.
So it matters when a workplace supports our relationship with our pets — whether that’s through flexible working policies or pet-friendly offices.
The organization With U Forever (WUF) understands the important roles pets play in our lives. Its “Best Pet Workplaces” event, in partnership with Nationwide, celebrates top companies and executives that value the human and animal bond.
As pet lovers ourselves, we at Zoom are partnering with WUF on the May 18 event and have been named the “Official Collaboration Suite of Best Pet Workplaces.” We’re excited to support WUF’s important initiatives and highlight how Zoom technology can help nurture our relationships with furry friends.
The benefits of hybrid work — for owners and pets
The acceleration of hybrid work meant more workers were at home, giving new meaning to the saying “man’s best friend.” With our 9-to-5s taking place at home, our dogs and cats were able to be by our side all day, fostering more quality time for bonding.
Now, as organizations around the world explore a hybrid work model, our relationships with our pets and their impact on our overall well-being remain top of mind. A few reasons why that is, according to a Nationwide/HABRI study:
- Improved mental health: Between the unconditional love and endless cuddles, pets make us happier. Eighty-five percent of pet owners agree that their pet brings them joy, while 82% say their pet brings them comfort. And 73% of pet owners say that their pet enhances their mental health.
- Increased physical health: Daily walks or just a chase around the house get our blood pumping. On average, pet owners surveyed reported exercising 3.5 days per week, compared to non-pet owners, who reported exercising 2.8 days per week, on average.
- Better employee engagement: When we feel that our pets are supported by our companies, we feel supported in turn — and that makes us feel more engaged in our work. Ninety-one percent of employees who work for a pet-friendly company feel engaged with their work versus 65% who work in non-pet-friendly workplaces. 83% of employees who work for a pet-friendly company feel their work is rewarding and exciting versus 46% who work in non-pet-friendly workplaces.
- Higher retention: A dog-friendly space often encourages employees to stick around longer. Eighty-eight percent of employees who work for a pet-friendly company plan to stay with the company for the next 12 months versus 73% who work in non-pet-friendly workplaces.
Whether you’re working from home or in a pet-friendly office, having your furry friend by your side is key for unlocking a meaningful and engaging working experience. At Zoom, our solutions help you stay connected with your colleagues — and your pooch — no matter where you are.
Whether it’s setting an away message on Zoom Team Chat when it’s time for a walk, using Workspace Reservation to find the perfect spot for your pup in the office, or enabling the noise suppression feature for when they bark at the mail carrier, our platform equips you with the tools you need to make your workday seamless and productive while you keep your pet company.
Bringing puppy love to patients
Zoom’s comprehensive platform consolidates the aspects of modern-day communication in one application, so you have more time to focus on what matters. For some, like Noodles the Pooch, corporate canine, that means more time for “self-care.” For others, like Moffitt Cancer Center, our customer since 2018, that means providing meaningful care and building strong connections with patients.
Moffitt’s providers and staff are focused on providing the best hands-on care that they can for patients, using Zoom Webinars, Zoom Phone, and even Zoom-enabled iPads on a rolling cart that they wheel around to patients in need of language services.
They’ve innovated in both virtual and physical spaces, designing state-of-the-art telehealth programs as well as an engaging and heartwarming pet therapy program. The pet therapy program at Moffitt Cancer Center utilizes certified animals and handlers for animal-assisted therapy to achieve physical, social, cognitive, and emotional goals with patients. The pets will come in regularly to visit with patients, interacting with them in lobbies and hospital rooms — anywhere they can say hi and give some love.
Three woofs for flexible work
Our relationship with our pets is defined by generosity, kindness, and devotion. Having a pet makes us a better version of ourselves, both as people and professionals — leading to a more compassionate, humane work culture.
When your culture is characterized by an engaged, empathetic workforce, your organization finds ways to strengthen communication, support meaningful collaboration, and work better together. All that’s next is finding the right tools to help you do so.