Over the last few months, working from home has become the new normal for many people, meaning our furry friends have had their owners by their side all day long.

A new study from Asda Money of 2,000 UK pet lovers discovered that over half (58%) believe that their pet keeps them happy and less stressed when working from home.

This research also revealed that when it came to their working environment, 71 per cent would prefer to be in the company of their pet rather than their partner. Improved mental health and increased productivity were also considered notable benefits of having pets in their workspace (62%).

With the responsibilities that come with pet ownership, managing care from home has created a better work life balance for those with cats or dogs. Nine out of ten of owners surveyed found it easier to care for their pets when working from home, and 40 per cent believe their pets mood has improved because of this.

With a huge increase in time spent together, nearly half of owners (46%) agree that their pet has become more attached to them since working from home. Furthermore, a third (33%) of people are concerned about how their pet will react when they need to return to work.

“It’s been an interesting few months with more people working from home – many have been introduced to extended members of their colleagues families over the phone and video calls. Despite the occasional interruptions from our furry friends, our research has shown that people have embraced the opportunity to spend more time with their beloved animals whilst working from home”,  comments Alistair Ball, Head of Insurance at Asda Money.

“It has long been recognised that animals have a calming effect on us, and this is something which our study further backs up. Employers who are able to provide greater flexibility for employees, stand to help their staff balance home life whilst still motivating a productive workforce.”

How can employers support pet owners at work?

There are many ways that businesses can support their employees who already own a pet or are considering ownership, with increased working flexibility and tailored benefits both being likely to make a big difference to this group.

From the perks that would be of most interest to pet parents, the below made the top five:

Work from home policy – 25%

Flexible working hours – 24%

Pet insurance – 20%

Pet bereavement leave – 19%

Allowing pets on-site – 17%

As pets are such a big part of our lives, it’s important to make sure they’re covered by the right pet insurance. Asda Money pet insurance policies are underwritten by Fairmead Insurance Limited (renamed from Legal & General Insurance Limited), part of the Liverpool Victoria General Insurance Group. They offer a 24-hour Vet Advice Line for peace of mind, and a multi-pet discount. T&C’s apply. Find out more information here.