Elmo the pug, in the Boss's chair!
Elmo takes his role as Head of Security at Future Life Wealth Management very seriously, when he’s not busy sleeping.
What does your company do?
Independent Financial Advisors
And introduce us to your workplace pet… What’s their name, and what kind of pet are they?
Elmo is our 1-year-old old Pug, a small dog with a huge personality (when he’s not sleeping)!
How did they become your workplace pet?
The boss got duped!
One of the staff members was desperate to have a dog, but with work commitments she felt it wouldn’t be fair leaving it at home for long periods of time. After a number of hints from the team (some subtle, and some not so subtle) we agreed to recruit a new member to fill the position of ‘Head of Security’.
Little did I know, the puppy in question was 8 weeks old, a Pug, ready and waiting to go. Over the weekend photo messages appeared on my mobile phone, and by Monday he was here, immediately drawing attention on our Twitter page from clients and business associates.
What’s it like having an animal around the place?
Having an office dog is a welcome addition to what can sometimes be a chaotic, fast-paced working environment. Each of the team has their own individual welcome from Elmo in the morning, whether it be hugs and kisses, or a mad dash across the office, he’s always pleased to see them, and it puts a positive spin on the day.
What made you decide to bring pets into your workplace?
We have previously had staff bringing their dogs into work with them on an occasional basis, and found that the responses from the team and our clients were always positive.
As an animal lover, whilst I’ve had dogs of my own in the past, due to other commitments I wasn’t sure whether looking after a dog on a full-time basis would be appropriate for me at this time, so a dog in the workplace seemed the next best thing!
Does it have an effect on stress, and on how the whole team works together?
Definitely. Having Elmo in the office certainly reduces stress, when you are in need of a few minutes to gather your thoughts a quick cuddle with Elmo seems to do the trick.
I know that employees are encouraged to have short breaks over the course of the working day and without something to focus on these short breaks are often skipped – since Elmo joined us, I often find members of the team having Elmo cuddles, taking a few minutes to break away from what they are doing, which allows them to refocus and increases productivity within the office.
Elmo already has a number of outfits which can provide entertainment in the office too. At Christmas, Elmo the Elf made an appearance and was a great hit on our Twitter feed!
Any unexpected benefits? Or, indeed, pitfalls?
As we have a lot of clients coming into the office, introducing Elmo can be a great ice-breaker and often opens up areas of discussion which might not have otherwise being touched on. The service we provide requires us to know our clients and understand them, so something which immediately brings a relaxed atmosphere to new business meetings can be a great way to start this off.
Who’s responsible for walking, feeding, cleaning… any of the ‘less popular’ jobs?
Samantha, the Paraplanning Manager is on hand to meet all of Elmo’s needs. Now Elmo is a little older, he tends to sleep most of the day either on her knee or sat beside her in the office chair – until someone comes to give him attention that is!
Do you ever find it a distraction?
Being a young puppy, Elmo is still going through the training process, so does sometimes get a little excited when clients and visitors come to the office and can get a little vocal, however we’ve found that most people are keen to meet him and after a few minutes of fuss he’s happy to go back to sleep, safe in the knowledge that he’s fulfilled his duty as Head of Security.
What would you tell other people who were reluctant to take in an office pet?
Obviously pets come in all shapes and sizes, and whilst having an office pet is, in my opinion, a great idea, I’d just say think about what type of animal would suit your needs best, do your research, and if it’s a young animal remember they will need time to adapt whilst they are growing and learning.
Does your office regularly house a four-legged team member? Perhaps you work from home, and have a furry - or scaly - friend who you class as a colleague, even though they don't play fair when it comes to making tea and coffee? We want to get to know your office pets and understand why they're an important part of your business.
Click here for more info or to submit your pet for our feature.
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