As restrictions begin to conditionally lift and employers are given more freedom to bring their staff back to the office, experts have claimed that companies may start to introduce a dog-friendly environment, helping to tempt employees back into the workplace.
Whilst working from home has become the new norm for many working Brits across the UK, with PM Boris Johnson’s recent announcement, allowing employers “more discretion” in bringing their staff back to the office, the country could start to see businesses returning to the workplace throughout August and beyond.
The prime minister stated during a conference at Downing Street that “Instead of government telling people to work from home, we are going to give employers more discretion, and ask them to make decisions about how their staff can work safely.”
Johnson claimed that this plan will remain conditional, based on the country’s progress of controlling the virus, and furthermore stopping a second wave from occurring.
“It is my strong and sincere hope that we will be able to review the outstanding restrictions and allow a more significant return to normality from November at the earliest – possibly in time for Christmas,” Johnson states.
A Dog-Friendly Return to Work
With many having worked remotely over the past few months and subsequently spent more time with their furry friends, following this recent ease in restrictions, it’s reported that staff may be keen to take their dogs with them if starting back in the office.
It’s believed that more employers will follow suit from the 1.7 million offices that already allow dogs – including the likes of Amazon, Google, Ben & Jerry’s Nestle and Build A Bear Workshop.
Unsurprisingly, bringing your dog into the office is a perk found to be valued by many pet-owners, research by the pet food company Purina revealing that 81% of people believed having dogs in the office made it a happier working environment.
In addition to this the same study showed 17% of participants claimed they’d actually take a pay cut if this meant they were allowed to bring their dog into work with them.
Kerry Lawson, dog behaviourist, told the Express that bosses should also consider supporting their employees who have only recently become a dog owner, claiming that:
“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.”