By Jim Preen, Director at YUDU
Bosses are terrified that remote working means loss of productivity. There are widespread fears among the C-suite that staff who once beavered away furiously at their desks are now spending more time looking to see what’s in the fridge.
To solve this problem YUDU has unleashed a new productivity team. Well in fairness they are put on a leash when taken out for walkies because as you’ve already guessed, they are dogs. Their names are Otis, Rusty, Coco and Bane.
You may think I’m barking mad, but home working humans need home working dog companions to boost productivity.
Right now, my dog Rusty, who is part Jack Russell and part heaven-knows-what is sitting quietly at my feet. I’ve just spoken to our Senior Account Manager, Miranda Tadros, and her dog Otis is snoozing beneath her desk.
Coco, a massive, hairy Newfoundland, belongs to YUDU CEO Richard Stephenson. Or is it the other way round? Richard just sent me this note:
‘Coco is a passionate believer in productivity improvement. Zoom calls that are clearly running too long will be interrupted with some powerful barking that cannot be ignored. Time keeping and maintaining the daily rhythm is also her speciality, breakfast is at 7.45 sharp.’ Dog boss or boss’s dog? It’s a fine line.
Otis the meteorologist
Otis is a Havanese and Miranda feels she has pooch powered productivity: ‘Otis forces me to go for a walk and get some fresh air and that allows me time to think about how I’m going to respond to a client. My productivity level has increased along with my creativity, because I’m having those breaks I never really had in the office.’
And talking of the office, we all miss those water cooler chats with our colleagues. Can a dog replicate that experience? Well, if you listen to Miranda the answer is yes: ‘Otis looks at me and it’s so funny, although he can’t talk back, he has this way of communicating with me.’
Otis is also something of a meteorologist: ‘He hates rain but seems to know when a storm is coming and makes it clear it’s time to get out quick for walkies.’
He is YUDU’s very own Tomasz Schafernaker and clearly a dog with magical properties.
Bane lives with Harvey Brindle and his partner Lucy. Harvey is a Fullstack Developer and Lucy works for the CPS. Unfortunately, Bane has signed the Official Secrets Act and is keeping pretty tight lipped about his work.
And what about my dog Rusty or Bucket as she is commonly known? I was reminded of an hilarious piece written by the restaurant critic A A Gill who said that naming pets is a glimpse into naming celebrity children: “You’re not giving the thing an identity; you’re putting a label on the new extension of you”. Not quite sure what the name Bucket says about me.
Dogs manipulate us so cleverly. They may look cute and chase burglars, but we love them because dogs are the greatest sycophants. They look at us in wonder and admiration, unlike cats who look at us with ill-disguised contempt. As someone once said, if cats could text us, they wouldn’t. Our fan-dogs allow us to be stars in our own lives.
Dogs have their own police force
This is why, according to Gill, they now have “their own doctors and holiday homes, their own laws, their own human police force (the RSPCA), their own professional association (the Kennel Club) and they have welfare. They live with all the benefits of the most civilised humans”.
But of course, as any dog owner will tell you, dogs a very bright. When some canny (canine?) entrepreneur started selling videos that taught how to test your dog’s IQ, US talk-show host Jay Leno remarked: “Here’s how it works: if you spend $15 on the video, your dog is smarter than you.”
Anyhow, dogs are helping drive productivity at YUDU while keeping us sane. I hope this has given you some paws for thought and it just remains for me to wish you all Happy Howlidays and Feliz Navidog. Sorry, I just couldn’t stop myself.
If you have any office-dog stories, we’d love to hear them.