Staff working for chocolate brand Nestle will now be able to bring their dog into the office with them.
Nestle is one of York's biggest employers and has now made its Nestle House offices pet-friendly. The company's sites at London Gatwick and Dublin have allowed dogs since 2015.
Staff will be able to bring their dog to work with them and walk it with other colleagues and their pets during lunch breaks.
Nestle hopes the scheme will improve physical and mental wellbeing in the workplace.
Only office-based staff can take part and workers in the adjoining factory will not be able to bring a dog for health and safety reasons.
The first employee to use the scheme was Beth Pettinger from the sales team, who has a spaniel called Indie.
“I’m so happy to bring Indie to work, Pets at Work is going to be great for both of us. Before, I had to depend on my parents or my dog walker to give me peace of mind while I was at work, now with Indie by my side it will be much easier. When I’ve been in other Nestlé offices I’ve noticed dogs have a calming effect, they are great ice-breakers for meeting new people, and they make sure you take a break from your desk! We are already planning group dog walks in Clarence Gardens nearby during our lunch breaks, so bringing Indie to work is going to be good for my mental and physical health.”
There are strict decontamination procedures in place between the offices and factory which will prevent dogs entering the production areas.
Staff and their canines also have to take part in a vetting process, health check and behavioural assessment before their dog is approved for the scheme. There is a three-month probation period to ensure dogs settle into office life and do not disrupt other staff or animals.