Sep 23, 2022 - Economy & Business

Pets at work? No problem at this office in Japan

Photo: Giovanni Mereghetti/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The take your dog to work trend, which has been growing in popularity in the U.S., is being tested in Japan.

Why it matters: Remote work has grown dramatically around the world during the pandemic, but some companies have been looking for creative ways to bring employees back to the office.

Driving the news: Tech company Fujitsu opened an experimental “dog office” this summer with stainproof carpet and pet supplies at one of its buildings in Kawasaki, near Tokyo, Reuters reports.

  • The dog office with workstations will operate on a trial basis through the end of the year for three employees and up to six dogs, Reuters reports. It’s separated from standard working areas.

Yes, but: Fujitsu told Reuters that the project isn't designed to get workers back in the office. The company has said it planned to make working from home a permanent option after the pandemic.

  • Surveys from the Japan Productivity Center show that teleworking among workers in their 20s and 30s has been declining more than two years into the pandemic.

Meanwhile, more than half of U.S. dog owners said in a Cesar brand survey that bringing their dogs to work would encourage them to take breaks (55%) and foster more social interaction in the workplace (52%).

  • 89% said it's important for them to continue spending time with pets during the workday.
  • Two-thirds of pet parents would bring their pets to work if allowed.

What they're saying: Julie Stich, vice president of content at the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, said in a recent interview with Axios that some employers are looking at programs that allow workers to bring pets with them "as ways to attract and retain their employees."

  • "It's something that employees want because sometimes your pet is like your family," Stich said.
  • "We can't say whether we will stick with this style of working alongside pets long-term because it's still a trial, but personally I think it would be good to see it spread across our society," Mitsuya Akamatsu, Fujitsu's head of work style strategy, told Reuters.

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