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Is your office ready for pets?

April 19, 2021, 10:04 AM UTC

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Good morning.

The proliferation of pets during the pandemic was one way workers eased the stress and loneliness of work from home. But what will happen to those animals when people return to the office?

Petco CEO Ron Coughlin has one answer: people should take their pets with them. His company, which saw double-digit growth during the pandemic, is announcing today that it is developing a new playbook and tool kit for pet-friendly offices, including pet runs, gates for maintaining pet-free areas, clean up stations, insurance and more.

“I’m a firm believer that pets helped people get through the pandemic,” Coughlin told me on Friday. “I want to make sure we maintain that bond as people return to the office.” He cites a Petco survey showing that 83% of “pet parents” say their animal friends helped reduce stress during the pandemic, and 53% think bringing a pet to the office would alleviate stress at work. 41% even say they would consider switching jobs to get the perk – meaning it could become one more weapon in the war for talent. “It’s a highly retentive benefit,” Coughlin says.

Many offices buildings, of course, prohibit pets as a matter of policy. But Coughlin points out that in the post-pandemic glut, employers have more leverage over commercial real estate than ever. Why not use it to change pet policy? “If there was ever a time, it is now.”

My apologies to office managers everywhere – including at Fortune – for raising this. But Cooper and Remy, my constant home office companions, are excited by the possibilities.   

More news below. And for folks wondering how long the stock market can keep up its extraordinary climb, check out the latest from our market historian extraordinaire, Shawn Tully, here. (Note:  Shawn’s coverage is available to Fortune subscribers only. But all CEO Daily readers should subscribe!)

Alan Murray


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This edition of CEO Daily was edited by David Meyer.