Ozzie - One of the DealTrak dog-squad
If two is company and three's a crowd... What does that make six? DealTrak's Steve Lees tells us more about their squad of workplace pets.
What does your company do?
DealTrak has been the market-leading F&I platform in the UK motor and asset finance sectors for over a decade. Over the past 15 years, we’ve created hundreds of supplier connections, produced millions of transactions and delivered tangible returns for the platform’s partners.
To drive our goal of bringing together the F&I sector, we’ve successfully hosted the F&I Conference and Awards since 2010. In doing so, we’ve also been able to give back to the community – by donating all proceeds to a different charity each year.
And introduce us to your workplace pet… What’s their name, and what kind of pet are they?
Well, we have lots of different dogs who visit us at DealTrak HQ. There are around six who frequent the office on a regular basis, but the ‘official’ DealTrak dog is a border collie called Oscar.
How did they become your workplace pet?
Oscar earned his status purely because he was the first canine over the threshold. When he made his debut appearance at DealTrak, the whole place fell in love with him. The fact that he has the perfect mix of cuteness and intelligence could have something to do with it!
He belongs to our technical manager James Holden, who was adamant he wasn’t a dog person and didn’t want one. James has a wife and two children though, and they really wanted a dog…
What’s it like having an animal around the place?
Fantastic. Animals add an element of spontaneity and joy to their environment. They do daft things when you least expect it and make you laugh. We’re really big on creating the right culture for the DealTrak family, and when we see our team smile, we know we’re on the right path.
What made you decide to bring pets into your workplace?
Because who doesn’t love dogs?! In all seriousness, we are very mindful that not everyone is a dog person and it’s taken into consideration whenever a pet comes to work. But – touch wood – no one has complained about it yet.
Even our visitors get involved. A supplier came for a meeting and said they wanted to keep the meeting brief as their dog was in the car – they were going from DealTrak straight to the vets afterwards, where the dog was having surgery. We paused the meeting there and then, so they could retrieve their dog from the car park and bring him into the meeting room with us.
Does it have an effect on stress, and on how the whole team works together?
Absolutely. It’s a known fact that being close to – and petting – an animal can help to reduce stress. Creating a positive working environment is at the core of everything we do at DealTrak, and having animals in the office is just a small part of a much larger wellbeing commitment.
Any unexpected benefits? Or, indeed, pitfalls?
You must clean up an unexpected ‘gift’ every now and again. Also, because we have an open-plan kitchen, you need to have a well-behaved dog, or you’ll be sharing your lunch. That said, the benefits outweigh any pitfalls tenfold.
Who’s responsible for walking, feeding, cleaning… any of the ‘less popular’ jobs?
Everyone! Generally, the owner will take the lead – pardon the pun – but the entire team will muck in if they need to. We have a little cavalier king charles spaniel puppy who might have an accident from time-to-time, but we all clean up after him.
Ever find it a distraction?
It can be sometimes, but the key is ‘little and often’. We don’t have set bring-your-pet-to-work days – although we did as part of World Mental Health Awareness Week – usually it’s as-and-when the need occurs.
What would you tell other people who were reluctant to take in an office pet?
Take a risk and do it. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Allowing our team to bring pets into the office is part of a much wider philosophy around making everyone within the DealTrak family feel valued and appreciated for the people they are. It’s so much more than just letting dogs come to work, it’s about creating the right atmosphere and culture within your business.
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