Dog days as dotcoms bid to retain best employees

fifth of dotcom companies are allowing staff to take dogs into the office in a bid
make conditions better at work and to combat skills shortages, according to
research by Andersen.

The survey of 150 e-businesses shows that most are offering generous perks
and benefits, such as duvet days and home-working. Fifteen per cent offer free
lunches, although only 9 per cent allow casual dress.

Skills shortages are highlighted as the biggest problem facing Internet
businesses. The survey, dot.comp, shows that 54 per cent of companies ranked
the problem as one of their top three issues. Training and development and
rewards were second and third.

Many dotcom firms said they are focusing on developing their current team
rather than recruiting from outside. The survey also shows that over two-thirds
of participants have some form of share option plan in place. But with the fall
in share prices over recent months, many of these options are now

Nicki Denby, partner of human capital at Andersen, said, "Solutions to
the problem of underwater options have been the subject of lively debate in the
US, where accounting issues make re-pricing problematic. However, the
accounting and corporate governance issues in the UK are different to the US,
and creative solutions are needed."

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