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Japanese company encourages employees to bring their dogs to work
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Owning a dog in Japan can be tricky – the pets aren't usually welcomed in restaurants or cafes, and taking them on public transport means zipping them up inside a carrier.
Yet, at an office in Kawasaki, near Tokyo, staff members with dogs are being encouraged to bring their furry friends to work as part of a trial to seek new ways of flexible working.
Tech giant Fujitsu opened its specialized "dog office" in July this year. Separated from a standard office and operating on a trial basis until the end of 2022, it has workstations for three staff members and space for up to six dogs at a time, as well as stain-proof carpets and a range of pet supplies ready at hand.
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Communications staff Yuka Hatagaki is one of the employees taking advantage of the new setup. Ever since the COVID-19 struck, Hatagaki had been remote working entirely from home, but the new dog office has enticed her to go in a few times each month along with her five-year-old Maltese-poodle cross, Noel.
"Communication got more difficult as remote working became a norm. So I thought it would be a great place here (in the office) – to be able to come and communicate with other people with the help of our dogs (as an icebreaker)," the 30-year-old told Reuters.