Employees in Oman want to bring their pets to the office

Author: Kirsty Tuxford | Date: 10 Aug 2016

Survey reveals that traditional work perks are no longer enough for some

Traditional benefits may no longer be enough for employees in Oman, who want perks such as being able to bring children or pets to the office, according to a survey by Bayt.com.
Although almost a quarter of respondents said they would like a job with an employee wellness policy – a fairly standard request – the study also revealed some more unusual requests. Entertainment at the office is required by 6.4 per cent of respondents, and regular fun office events and activities is vital for 11.2 per cent.
The option to bring pets or children to work was important to 5.1 per cent and flexible hours and a dress code were also rated highly.
The survey, Trends in Employer Branding in MENA, highlighted that employees need fun and flexibility in their working lives. While an organisation’s brand image and reputation are key in attracting talent, it seems that employees are more likely to stay if they benefit from a little ‘play time’.
“It is no secret that we spend the majority of our days at work, and this can lead to burnout if the office doesn’t offer some form of relief,” said Shobha Jaison, senior manager of human development at Bayt.com, in a blog. “Every once in a while, plan a fun activity for your employees. This can be an office lunch or a picnic if the weather permits. Always celebrate important milestones, achievements and major holidays as a team, and provide entertainment options at the office. You can promote health and fun, at the same time, by including activities that require physical activity but are still enjoyable, such as hiking or rock climbing.”
Organisations such as Google and Facebook are well known for office innovations that make life ‘fun’ for employees, and the concept has also arrived in the UAE. Google’s office in Media City has table football for employees to use when they want a break. Hill+Knowlton Strategies has flexible working hours for mothers, and RE Salons & Spas offers in-seat massages and manicures for employees in their offices.
“Our office has a relaxed environment and we encourage staff to embrace the outdoors,” said Bryan Anes, head of sales at Explorer Publishing. “We are open to staff cycling to work and changing in the office. Our work outings such as the desert Olympics and trips to Wadi Adventure also speak of our interest in fun activities.”
“I haven't personally received any strange requests from employees,” said Thamer Fahmi, senior benefits specialist at Halliburton UAE. “Bringing pets to work would be interesting, especially if you consider a lion your pet like some families here…”