Employee burnout rates skyrocketed during the pandemic. Understandably, these rates are a concern for individuals and companies. Yet, what can employers do, and can pet wellness plans help? There's no denying the stress and anxiety everyone has felt over the last two years. With job and financial security unknown—combined with social isolation—employee burnout levels are trending upwards.

Below, we look at whether implementing pet wellness benefits can combat employee burnout. And if so, how should pet wellness plans be implemented in the workplace?

Employee burnout is a global concern. Is it still on the rise?

Burnout levels have seen a dramatic increase over the past few years. From C-suite executives to graduate interns, the stress of the pandemic pushed many to their breaking point. This still seems to be the case. While the worst of the pandemic lockdowns are over, employee burnout continues. The American Psychological Association noted that burnout was at an all-time high at the beginning of this year.

Is burnout still a global concern? Absolutely, but it also needs to be a concern at the employer level. In many cases, the work environment predicts whether an employee will experience burnout or not. Burnout is caused by multiple factors, such as increased workloads or reduced job satisfaction. Lack of employee benefits, particularly pet wellness plans, can also play a role.

So what do employers need to know about employee burnout in 2022? And can pet owner benefits be part of the solution?

Employee burnout: 2022 statistics

According to a McKinsey report, despite four in five HR leaders claiming employee mental health is a top priority, employees still face workplace challenges that lead to burnout. Companies that fail to address the workplace factors that cause employee burnout will pay a high price. These factors include toxic environments, unreasonable workloads, lack of social support, and low autonomy.

In 2022, persistent burnout challenges remain. There seems to be a disconnect between how employers and employees view mental health in the workplace. This could indicate why employee burnout continues to be an issue. Additionally, remote work has played a contributing role.

Nearly every company adopted remote work during the pandemic in some capacity. Some employees welcome the ability to work from home. Yet, it leads to increased social isolation and other issues for others. Many remote workers struggle to separate their home and work lives. This means they're working longer hours and are more accessible online. This "always-on" culture inevitably leads to burnout symptoms.

So, what can employers do to improve their efforts and burnout levels? Listen to employees. One of the most significant stressors employees face is the rising pet ownership costs. Pet parents need support from companies in the form of pet wellness plans and other pet perks. Many pet owners are willing to look to work elsewhere if this doesn't happen.

Yet, how exactly can pet wellness plans improve employee burnout? Let's explore the role pets play in improving stress levels.

Employee wellness: How pets can prevent burnout

Employee benefits focused on supporting pet parents' lifestyles positively affect mental health and well-being. Whether that's providing dog-friendly office spaces or giving discounts on pet insurance plans, perks like these can improve job satisfaction, stress levels, and employee productivity.

Research suggests pets are highly beneficial for improving a range of health factors. While the physical benefits are obvious (e.g., necessary walks lead to improved heart health), employers shouldn't overlook the mental benefits of owning pets. Many employees adopted pets during the pandemic. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), approximately 23 million homes in the country adopted a cat or dog.

These adoption rates were driven mainly by remote employees having more time to dedicate to pets. Many workers experienced decreased anxiety, stress, and depression thanks to these new furry friends. When combined with access to pet wellness benefits, many noted an improved ability to cope with stressors at work. Therefore, owning pets can alleviate some burnout symptoms.

However, burnout is still a concern for those pet parents not receiving support from employers. The financial costs of pet care are rising, creating more strain on pet owners. Additionally, the risk of a pet becoming ill and not having access to pet insurance leads to high-stress levels. But employers can easily help by implementing the right workplace benefits.

Pet wellness benefits: Tips for implementing a program in your workplace

If you're noticing a rise in employee burnout among pet owners in your company, now is the time to act. The first step is to decide which pet wellness benefits your employees need. Unsure how to do this? Send out an employee survey. Ask them to detail their pain points regarding being a pet-owning employee. Perhaps you'll find they want somewhere they can safely bring their pet while they work. Or maybe they need help covering the cost of pet care services.

Next, consider which type of pet wellness plan or benefits program will satisfy your employees' needs. Pet wellness plans come in all variations. Perhaps you need a robust, comprehensive plan that covers routine pet care, such as vet visits, vaccinations, and dental care. Maybe the speed of reimbursement is more critical for employees. Understanding a pet wellness plan's elements can help you make the right choice.

Once you've decided on the right pet wellness benefits program, consider what needs to be done on your end to implement it. Are there any technical requirements or integrations needed? What steps do pet parents need to take to get set up on the program? After the pet wellness benefits are in place, make employees aware.

HR departments and employers should remind employees to avail of the benefits on offer, especially where their pets are concerned. Pet parents don't need to shoulder the responsibilities of pet ownership alone. They can lean on the support of their employers to live a stress-free life in the workplace and at home.

Wagmo pet wellness: Affordable employee benefit plans

Wagmo wellness benefits pay your employees back for routine preventative pet care. Our pet wellness plans combat the rising costs of owning pets. Wagmo gives your team access to affordable resources that improve pet health and lower pet parents' financial stress. Unlike other pet insurance companies, we have no waiting periods, no deductibles, and no restrictions around pre-existing conditions.

Learn about our employee pet wellness benefits to choose the right solution for your team. Contact Wagmo today to see how you can best support your employees and their pets.