Even in a highly creative environment, work at the office can get pretty stressful, so a digital advertising agency in Bangkok, Thailand is encouraging staff to bring their pets, especially dogs, to work, to help them relax.
Walking into the Bangkok headquarters of Adyim, a successful digital marketing firm, it’s not uncommon to see young employees holding small dogs in their laps, stroking them with one hand and operating their computer mouse with the other, or even pooches playing on the table during an office meeting. In fact, company manager, Anankanat Kongphanich, encourages staff to bring their pets too work as often as possible, let them run around, and play with them whenever they have free time.
Photo: BBC video screengrab
No, Anankanat is not crazy, nor is this a marketing scheme to draw attention to the company. She just wants her team to be more relaxed and comfortable at the workplace, which is supposed to increase their productivity. She didn’t just come up with that theory, either. Researchers at the University of Minnesota found that having pets reduces stress and improves work quality, and the Adyim manager claims that ever since the measure was implemented, the atmosphere around the office and the efficiency of the employees have both improved significantly.
And it wasn’t just the research. Although Anankanat Kongphanich doesn’t mention it in her interview with BBC Thailand, she was probably inspired by Japanese company Ferray Corporation, which made headlines two years ago for encouraging employees to bring their cats to work for the exact same reasons. They also reported lower stress levels and a better work atmosphere.
“In the evening, after meeting with clients, we come back to the office feeling a lot of pressure, and so we go staright to play with our dogs, stroking their heads, holding them, watching them run around. This helps us release some stress,” one Adyim employee said.
We want this office to feel like a second home for our employees,” Anankanat Kongphanich told BBC. “When they come to work, they meet their friends, the play with their pets, they come here to do joyful activities, not just to work.”
Interestingly, many Adyim employees were not particularly fond of dogs before the “bring your pet to work” measure was implemented, but after seeing their colleagues interact with the animals and being around the adorable canines for a while, they got their own dogs.
“I am easily annoyed by the noise of the dogs, but once I got used to it, I felt like getting a dog myself,” one woman said.
“After working here for one year, I decided to buy myself a dog, so I got my first dog because of this office!” another employee added.
The Adyim office hosts an average of 20 dogs every day.