Dogs head to the office! Waggy-tailed workers to join in big return

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    Because a new army of waggy-tailed workers are about to invade workplaces across the UK – stealing sandwiches, chewing cables and woofing on Zoom calls.

    Dogs will become part of the furniture as staff head back to offices keen to take their pets too after spending more time than ever with them during lockdown.

    Already 1.7 million offices are dog-friendly, including Ben & Jerry’s, Build A Bear Workshop, Nestlé, Amazon, Cats Protection and Google.

    And experts say more companies will follow suit to tempt staff back. Reginald, an 18-month-old British bulldog, is Chief of Happiness at Ideal Modular Homes in Liverpool and is most likely found snoozing on his favourite beanbag.

    Other dogs in the office include Labrador Meg, Yorkie Frankie, Newfoundland Bella and Sugar the Pomeranian.

    Reggie’s owner, Gemma Darroch, 33, says: “Having him in the office is lovely. Everyone enjoys giving him cuddles.

    “The dogs help boost productivity and taking five minutes to go for a walk or throw a ball beats the afternoon slump.

    “We’ve had a few accidents with them. One of them peed all over the new chief finance officer’s bag and we’ve found lots of chewed computer cables. But generally having them here is great for morale.” 

    At Fourth Day PR, adorable Border
    terrier Tess, five, is very much part of the team, despite getting a bit too excited from time to time. 

    Nikki Scrivener, 46, her owner and director at the Manchester firm, says: “Tess is so relaxing to have around. She’s great at jumping up on a lap if anyone’s feeling stressed.

    “She loves playing tug of war, meaning staff get breaks, and always makes herself known on Zoom calls by woofing along.”

    At Reflect Digital in Maidstone, founder Becky Simms, 34, says her dachshund Harry is a professional member of the team, apart from when he steals sandwiches. She said: “Harry is more than just the office dog. We call him Chief Happiness Officer as he cheers us up with regular cuddles and walks. But as part of the induction, all staff are warned not to leave food in bags on the floor or on their desks as Harry will find a way to steal it.”

    Not surprisingly, 81 per cent of people said having a dog in the office made it a happier place to work, according to research by pet food company Purina. 

    And 17 per cent said they would take a pay cut if it meant they could bring their dog with them. Dog behaviourist Kerry Lawson says bosses need to consider
    supporting new owners.

    She said: “For new owners, the thought of being parted with their pet who has supported them emotionally through lockdown is distressing. 

    “For the new pet, having their owner with them 24/7 then being left alone is unsettling and can lead to all kinds of unwanted behaviour.

    “But if workplaces can be more flexible, whether that’s letting dogs come in on set days, or allowing staff to go home to care for them, this can be avoided.”



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