Screen time takes up so many hours of our time – as warns latest file transfer tool WeTransfer campaign – and is one of the places where we often naturally turn to for shopping. Is this the most efficient or faster way to do so? London-based start-up NearSt – who has recently partnered with Google – believes it isn’t and set themselves to provide an alternative to online shopping, helping people find what they are looking for in a store in their neighbourhood, by making live in-shop inventories accessible. From an office not far from Old Street – an area called Silicon Roundabout from the concentration of tech businesses – NearSt is working on their disruptive project and occasional office dog(s) fill up the Team’s ranks. Today, in the Office Dog Series, we talk with NearSt’s Team about their dog-friendly policy and office dog regular Suki.
NearSt office dog(s)
Kate is the one driving “paw friendly policies” at NearSt – as the Team says – and when we start talking about their office dogs, she giggles, “The situation with our office dogs is that I offer services as a dog sitter as a side hustle/to keep me sane, and then just bring them all into the office not giving anyone a choice.”
This means that NearSt doesn’t have just one hound enjoying team’s life. However, one of them comes in more often: Suki, the 3-year old sable Pomeranian. “I first started dog sitting her in November 2017 and we just clicked and really get on,” recounts Kate. “She really is the sweetest little thing, with a bit of a naughty streak.” Suki has been hanging out at the office for over a year and a half, and Kate says that if she had a role at the office, she would be “Quality Control and Lead Stress Reliever.” Suki seems to be a well-navigated office pooch, and in fact one of her owners also brings her to work at a fashion company, confirms Kate.
Suki is also known for…
Loving: Sock feet! Morning cuddles, Food.
Hating: Plastic bags blowing in the wind. Getting her feet/belly wiped if she’s gotten dirty.
Funniest habit: We taught her one trick the first time we had her in the office (paw shake) and now that’s her go to, no matter what you ask her to do.
Most annoying habit: She can bark A LOT.
Most famous/infamous episode: On the very last day of her first stay with me. She peed in the office in the middle of a meeting. (After just walking 35 minutes!)
If she was a famous character she would be: Eevee the Pokemon.
An office dog day at NearSt
Kate and Suki’s morning normally starts with a half hour walk to the office. “She’s not a morning dog, she doesn’t want to put her leash on, she’ll take her sweet time, stopping to smell everything and not focusing until about half to the office and she realises she’s going to see everyone and get her morning treat! If it’s raining or snowing though, she will not move,” recounts Kate.
As I walk into NearSt’s office, Suki appears by the door. She is a tiny vaporous cloud of fluff. After a couple of barks, she soon settles and is happy to pose and follow us around with the calmest manners. Unsurprisingly – who wouldn’t be keen to pet the softest cute little ball of fur -, her office routine is centred around cuddles and attention. “She’ll make her rounds and get love from everyone. She loves to sit in the middle of the group and be the centre of attention if we’re having a meeting (every morning). She does have a little spot behind a directors chair that she’ll chill behind, but usually, she’s lounging on the couch with me or on someone’s lap while we work,” explains Kate.
Just a few minutes walk from the office, there is a park where Kate takes Suki for some daily breaks. “Sometimes if she’s feeling spry she’ll chase pigeons, but usually she’s good to just sit and people watch,” notes Kate. “The walk to the office and back home are normally enough exercise for her.”
NearSt’s dog culture
NearSt, which recently partnered with Google, was launched in 2015 and today its HQ takes on a bright corner office with wide windows which is said to have been Citymapper’s first ever workspace. It is a small office, but the Team has decorated it with a personal touch. If you take a close look at the red brick wall at the back, for instance, you can spot Lego men perched into the bricks’ recesses, dressed in various attire.
The living area at the entrance has a fake grass carpet, and a sofa and bookcase. Kate explains that, luckily, the dogs have not mistaken the fake grass for outdoors so far, and that making sure no incidents happen is also the only official dog rule of the house. In general, Kate makes sure the dogs she brings in are friendly and calm, anyway, and definitely well toilet-trained.
The Team at NearSt is very friendly and dogs add to the atmosphere. “Personally, she makes me so happy to come into work. It’s always a better vibe when there’s someone cute and loving around,” comments Kate. “Everyone else that sees her, either walking to the office or once we get here, always has a huge smile on their face and it’s really cool to see. It just puts you in a great mood.”
Office dog survival guide
For Kate an office dog survival guide would include:
- “Don’t get fake grass as a carpet (not my choice haha)
- Have treats for your coworkers to give out
- Make sure they have somewhere comfortable to lay down!”