VIDEO: Terriers and trees the next big things in offices

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It won’t be long until pets are as common as pens in our office buildings, if the latest US trends find their way to Australia.

Some of America’s largest companies are embracing “pet policies”, which allow employees to bring man’s best friend and other animals to work, according to REA Group chief economist Nerida Conisbee.

Conisbee says businesses are becoming increasingly innovative when it comes to revamping their workplaces in a bid to attract and retain staff, and for some that includes allowing pets inside.

“Ultimately it’s all about the employee, so owners are looking to provide offices that are attractive to employees to that tenants can attract and retain the best talent,” she says.

“Some of the trends in the US are quite different. In the US we’re seeing pets in the workplace and particularly with tech. Technology companies are increasingly developing pet policies; they’re developing buildings that can cater to pet owners and as a result the buildings are changing.”

Watch REA Group chief economist Nerida Conisbee’s full interview below:

“Amazon, their head office in Seattle, they estimate around 30% of staff are now bringing in their pets to work. We’re not yet seeing that in Australia, whether we will is still uncertain, but it certainly is a major change to what is happening in major office buildings around the world.”

It’s no longer enough to simply offer desks, computers and free coffee, Conisbee says, with many companies now quite literally putting the environment back into work environments.

“There’s certainly a lot of things being trialled. We have a look at green spaces, there is a lot of green spaces now being offered within office buildings,” she says.

“The City of Melbourne has now looked at every single rooftop across the CBD to find out which of those rooftops will be suitable for rooftop gardens. That will be a key trend that we see coming up over the next decade.”

“If you look at Macquarie Bank … they now have what is effectively a miniature farm on the top of their workplace in Martin Place in the Sydney CBD. That workplace, that farm, includes things like chickens and bees and they’ve got a vegetable patch, so really quite unusual in terms of their offering.”