JTB Studios have been expanding lately with the search for a new Digital Designer to join our growing team. But we needed someone to fill another type of role: someone quick on their feet and ahead of the pack. Meet our Playtime Coordinator, Sierra Bogdanowicz.
Finding new team members can be hard.
They need to be good at their jobs; fit in well with the rest of the team; and preferably won’t pee on the carpet. Two out of three isn’t too bad.
When we first heard about the opening for Playtime Coordinator, the JTB Studios Team was pretty excited. Our Director, Jeremy Bogdanowicz, found several great candidates and we eagerly looked through their online bio’s as a team.
Eventually, the final decision came down to Bogdanowicz, who interviewed a pack before paw-selecting Sierra.
“We went into the meeting with a pretty good idea of who we were going to pick,” said Bogdanowicz. “But when we got there, Sierra blew us away. She kept hanging around, wanting to play and we just knew she was the top dog for the job.”
Studies prove office pets improves team morale
A 2012 study from the Virginia Commonwealth University showed that employees working for pet-friendly companies had lower stress levels than their pet-less counterparts.
On days employees brought their dogs into the office, they reported less stress than their usual baseline levels, while those without dogs felt their stress levels increased.
The study also explored the effects of dogs in the workplace and employee perceptions of satisfaction, support and commitment, with the groups who brought their dog to work scoring significantly higher on these values than their dog-less peers.
Did someone say “Walkies”?
Although Sierra is surprisingly well behaved for an 8-week old German Shepherd puppy, she does get up to a bit of mischief around the office (although that could be considered standard practice around here!).
As a team of Designers and Project Managers, we spend a lot of time sitting in front of a screen with occasional breaks to grab a coffee or use the loo.
But really, we don’t get away from our screens as much as we should. There are well-documented adverse health effects from sitting for long periods of time that include an increased risk in heart disease; but taking 10 minutes per hour to move around could help reduce these risks.
Getting up intermittently for a game of tug-o-war or to let her out the back to water the plants is a good way to get that break in and come back to our desks feeling refreshed.
Bark & bite
Having a dog around the office increases team conversation – and subsequently team bonding and morale.
Although Sierra doesn’t really make any noise and spends a lot of time snoozing under the desk or trying to steal the garbage bag from the bin, she’s definitely a conversation starter.
Part of the 10-minute break includes wandering around seeing who’s being a puppy hog and then discussing, at length, how cute she is.
Excelling at her new role
As a team, we can attest to the above benefits of having an open doggy-door policy when it comes to bringing your pooch to work.
There’s something that tugs at the heart-strings when you look down at your feet and see a large pair of sad brown eyes peeking up at you from a face full of black fluff. A quick cuddle helps melt away stress, and makes it easier to reach your playtime quota for the day.
At this rate, she’s headed for the coveted position of Employee of the Month – but unlike her Kong, we won’t fight her for it.