Harry is a big fan of Monday's, when he gets to see his Reflect Digital family and get back to work as Chief Happiness Officer! Becky Simms tells us more about her workplace pet, Harry the Dachshund.
What does your company do?
We are Reflect Digital, a digital marketing agency based in Maidstone, Kent. We fuel growth for our client’s by achieving their Sweet Spot. Our services cover brand, technology and marketing.
Introduce us to your workplace pet...
Harry, he is our Chief Happiness Officer and is a Dachshund cross with a Spaniel, a.k.a @harrythetalldachshund
How did they become your workplace pet?
After an office conversation revealed so many of the team would love an office dog and a few WhatsApp group chats later… Paul (co-director and husband) and I made our way to Birmingham to meet this gorgeous little puppy we had found online! We were smitten immediately, he was adorable, so he came home with us that day.
Another 100 or so WhatsApp messages later with the team and he had been named, Harry. Two days later was his first day in the office and he has never looked back, he absolutely loves his work family.
What’s it like having an animal in the office?
It is so awesome having him at work every day. It genuinely reduces stress and gives everyone something to be happy about at all times. I am not going to lie the early days were difficult when he was not toilet trained, but those days are a distant memory now! He brings so much joy to the team, running around, sitting on laps, sitting on desks and going for team walks at lunch!
What made you decide to bring pets into the office?
The team were all excited about the idea of an office dog and we always challenge the norm wherever possible. There have been many studies on the benefits of having pets in the office and as an office full of animal lovers it seemed like the perfect option.
Does it have an effect on stress and how the team work together?
Harry is most definitely stress relieving. He is such a cuddly dog and he seems to know when team members need a hug. He also helps welcome visitors when they arrive at the office, he is so used to being around people he just wants everyone to love him. He does have his favourites in the team and really cute routines in the morning.
He LOVES Monday’s when he gets to see everyone after the weekend, we brought in a 4-day week last year, so he now goes three whole days without his Reflect Digital family! He does help bond the team together more, we try and encourage the team to do walking meetings and Harry normally gets an invite!
Any unexpected benefits? Pitfalls?
The main benefit is the impact on team happiness, he really does bring so much joy to the team. He also draws more client’s to want to come to our office, as they want to see Harry - which is always lovely. I think a massive benefit for him as a dog is that is had made him so social, he literally has 23 owners who all love him and dotes on all of them. The team love Harry so much that he gets to go for sleepovers at team members houses - he literally has the best life.
The only pitfalls were in the early days when it took a while to get his toilet training sorted. Our office is a 1st-floor office, so I think this made it more difficult for him to learn, as he could not easily see outside. We also had to make sure as we were taking him to puppy training classes that we shared what we learnt with the team, so he had a consistent message from all of us. It was great as he was learning new things though, as the whole team would be so excited to see him develop!
Who is responsible for walking, feeding, cleaning? Any less popular jobs?
Myself and Paul are mainly responsible, but the team do get involved. He often gets to go on walks with team members, we are so lucky as our office backs on to a gorgeous park with a lovely walk around the lake which conveniently takes about an hour, so is great for lunch! Now he is fully trained he is really easy to look after in the office, so there are no bad jobs really!
Ever find it a distraction?
Harry is sometimes a distraction for new members of the team who are so excited to have a dog in the office, but on the whole, he is not too distracting. He does love to sit on laps and to rest his head on your arm, so it is sometimes a little restricting for typing!!
What would you tell other people who are reluctant to take on an office pet?
I would highly recommend more offices consider having an office pet. Harry has been such a positive change to our office and really has boosted morale and reduced stress. As long as there are clear boundaries and the team understand any responsibilities required then it really can be a team effort.
You can check out Harry’s website profile here.
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