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Employee Benefits Go to the Dogs with Increased Demand for Convenience Services, Including Pet Care

August 27, 2008 –– Employee benefits have gone to the dogs, and cats …and even birds. As the daily requirements of pet care affect workers' ability to manage home and work responsibilities, they may look to their employers for help. According to a new survey, three out of five workers own pets and 43% said they would use employer-provided services to help find resources for their pets if they were offered. To address this trend and help employees focus on their jobs, companies are starting to include pet-care resources as part of their work-life benefits programs.

"Offering pet-care resources and other convenience services is a great way for companies to reduce workers' stress about everyday demands and make them feel good about their workplace," said Dean Debnam, chief executive officer for Workplace Options (WPO), the company which conducted the survey. "Whether it's assisting an employee with caring for an elderly parent or a more practical issue like finding a reliable pet sitter, convenience services are a smart investment that pays off for employers in the long run."

The WPO survey also found that 72% of workers polled are currently stressed by their job. Convenience services, which are designed to assist employees with their tasks to make managing their personal and professional lifestyles easier, can help reduce worker anxiety about the competing daily demands of work and family by saving time and reducing unnecessary distractions.

Typical convenience service requests include research or referrals for:

  • Pet sitters, veterinarians and pet obedience training
  • Apartment locators, moving and relocation services
  • Consumer comparisons and shopping
  • Fitness centers and wellness programs
  • Contracting and chore services
  • Transportation and travel services
  • Entertainment.

"More than one-third of workers polled feel that convenience services are important and more than half of employees would use them if their employer provided the services free of charge," added Debnam. "By respecting the demands of daily living and providing time-saving solutions for their employees companies can anticipate greater retention rates and a boost in morale."

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