Akira is a mongrel employed as office dog at Make Us Proud, a young digital product studio based in Shoreditch. In the past eight months she has been commuting to work with her buddy Antonas every day.
Akira is a very sweet and extremely calm dog. She is a rescue and hers is a quite touching story. Antonas recounted that he and his wife got her from a kill shelter while they were finishing their studies. “What we didn’t know was that she was pregnant at the time and on Christmas Eve we got a gift of 5 puppies. It was an exciting experience, and we found homes for all of them” said Antonas.
Antonas continued “in general Akira is the calmest and most loyal dog ever. We can easily travel with her, go hiking (just in the summer she climbed to Skiddaw in Lake District with us). Interesting fact, she doesn’t really play with toys and in 6 years we had her we didn’t manage to teach her. She enjoys playing with other dogs and humans more. Akira is beyond affectionate, and most people fall in love with her almost instantly.”
Akira’s Office Life
While at the office, Akira’s favourite activity is taking naps. Antonas explained “she spends [most of the time] either in her bed under the desk or on a bag pack of one of my colleagues. For some reason she prefers the bag even more than the bed.”
Apart from this, there are a few things that Akira enjoys to always do with Antonas. “First of all, we have morning stand-ups, when every member of the team discusses what has been done yesterday and what’s the plan for today. During these discussions Akira always joins in, standing in the middle of the circle” said Antonas.
In addition, Akira always gets to go and grab a coffee with Antonas and the team, so most of the coffee shops in the area know her.
Finally she is very diligent in carrying out her greeting tasks. “If we have a client visiting our office or a job interview, it is her duty to meet these people and confirm that they are ‘ok'” said Antonas.
Make Us Proud’s dog-friendly policy
It was for Akira that Make Us Proud introduced a dog policy. “We have a small and fairly young company. There were no policies on dogs before I joined it, [but] most of my team wanted to have a dog in the office anyway. So I guess the company was always prepared for a dog. Ever since my colleagues found out I had a dog (and that happened around my second week at the company), they’ve been asking me to bring her in.”
It looks like, since then, Akira has become the company’s mascotte and integral part of its culture!
An office dog benefits
Regarding the benefits of having an office dog, Antonas highlighted “I think that brining Akira to the office is great for everyone. We’ve talked about this with my colleagues and they all agree that just having her peacefully napping or occasionally asking for attention helps with stress. If you are tired and anxious, you can just pet her or go for a walk and it helps you to relax. Same goes for some of our clients: she likes to meet people when they come to the office and that sets a friendly tone for a meeting.”
But being able to bring her to work also entails some other perks. “I think the most important thing is how it affected me and Akira”, noted Antonas. “We are together 24/7 and I can definitely feel that Akira has become more even more calm and playful. It’s funny, as she gets older, she gets more joyous. And it makes me happy too, having my buddy with me all the time.”
A Top Three
The three best advantages of having an office dog, according to Antonas:
“1. You can’t be stressed out in a presence of such a lovely being.
2. It improves relationship between colleagues
3. You make random connections outside the office on your way to work or home – people always want to say ‘hi’ to her!”
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