Exclusive interview with the border collie Kobe Del Pre, Atim’s Wellness and Entertainment Director, about the positive impact that having a pet in the company brings to everyone’s mood and productivity.
If you thought that the presence of pets in the office was a fad, you were wrong…
The pandemic has made it clear how much these faithful companions contribute to our well-being: from 2019 to 2020, there was an increase of over 15% in adoptions of dogs and cats in Italy alone. Data from ENPA (Italian National Animal Protection Agency) show that a total of 17,600 pets found a new home during the pandemic, while the Coop 2020 Report informs that 3.5 million Italians have taken a pet during the lockdown or soon after.
Their empathic capacity, their energy and their reassuring power have been for many almost a remedy without side effects against the little daily anxieties triggered by the pandemic. Now that the whole country is gradually experimenting with more flexible forms of work, their presence in the office can bring indisputable benefits.
Stimulated by the Take your Dog to Work Day, which is celebrated on June 26, we wanted to explore the topic with someone who know it well: in an exclusive interview, Kobe Del Pre, Atim’s Director of Wellness and Entertainment, talked to us about his role in the company and the positive impact that the presence of pets, like him, can have in the workplace.
Kobe at work
What are your main duties at Atim?
My main task is to promote moments of serenity, carefree and joy. Since I arrived in the company I have implemented small breaks that require humans to take a few minutes off to play with me in the garden, to take me to pee or to walk around the sheds. These pauses are useful to regain contact with the outside world, to detach their focus from work for a bit and to promote a balance between moments of productivity and relaxation.
What is a typical day for you at the company?
As soon as I arrive , I greet everyone with my morning enthusiasm! Then I go up to Stefano Del Prete’s office. We have a very close relationship. I spend a lot of time with him and advise him on how to manage the priorities of the day, especially in times of great stress. Then I go to my personl kennel, from where I watch collaborators and transporters as they come and go. Many often come to greet me and this makes me very happy. My tasks change according to the day: making people chase me while I run with a ball in my mouth, checking the quality of the soil by digging holes in the garden, being caressed by the guys of the office or the production site…
In your opinion, what was the main perceived benefit of your presence in the office?
Many do not know it, but petting an animal is by far one of the most powerful anti-stress gestures there are: what could be nicer than a furry cuddle in the middle of the working day, huh? Caressing a dog like me, or another animal, lowers the blood pressure and gives people a greater sense of relaxation. Then, with my enthusiasm, spontaneity and unique personality, I believe I have contributed to creating a fun environment, which promotes good humor and more interaction between the guys who work there. I’ve been a very good boy!
What would you say to other companies which are considering to become pet-friendly like Atim?
I’d say that, if they have an environment and a team that allows it, the advantages of having pet at work are many. Animals like me have an enormous ability to strengthen empathy, contribute to self-esteem and create a more relaxed work environment. Bringing more of us to the traditional work environment decreases stress levels, favors opportunities for meeting and dialogue, improves the general mood and also impact posivitely on productivity.
Exactly when the markets start to ignite again, virtually all raw materials have become almost unavailable and very expensive. The “everyting bubble” seems to have finally hit us and, for a transforming country like Italy, it is becoming a serious problem.
During the first months of COVID-19, companies canceled orders, waiting for the initial fright to pass and new security measures to be put into practice. In addition, with global lockdowns and paralyzations in all sectors, the extraction and production of raw materials also slowed down.
Once the acute phase of the pandemic ended, there was a rush not only to repurchase raw materials for production, but also the additional demand to replenish stocks. All this process has led to a global shortage of available raw materials and a consequent rise in prices.
For a broader overview of the current moment, it is also necessary to consider other factors: China and the United States’ fast recovery and rise in demand, the great post-pandemic economic plans, the energy transition, speculative activities and logistics issues – with the increase in shipping costs and unpredictable situations, such as the recent blockade of the Suez Canal and the new COVID outbreak which reduced the activities of the Yantian port to 30%.
The availability of aluminum
In this scenario, many Italian and European companies face difficulties to manage their procurement.
For Atim, which uses only aluminum from Italian producers, the second half of 2020 marked a constant and continuous increase in prices. The cost of aluminum has reached all-time highs since 2018 and the prices kept rising in the first quarter of 2021: + 18%, according to Finco.
It’s worth remembering that the EU produces only 25% of the primary aluminum needed for domestic demand. Thus, even though Italy is the second most important producer of the commodity in Europe, the demand from different markets and sectors is currently so high that aluminum is almost impossible to find.
What can we expect?
Last October the European Union created the Alliance for Raw Materials with the aim of making the continent self-sufficient. But it will still take years before we reach the first results of the newly established plans.
In the short term and with regard to aluminum, analysts’ opinions are divided: the less optimistic predict that its availability and the consequent increase in prices could become a structural issue if Europe doesn’t change its tax policies; the most optimistic believe that prices are destined to fall over the year due to the excess supply dictated by the Chinese production, which is growing rapidly.
Navigating this global economic Tsunami will require a great deal of dynamism and strategy, like never before. So far, in Atim we’ve been keeping our ship steady and on the right course.
We are proud to present Atim’s Code of Ethics!
It reaffirms one of our team’s fundamental principles: change begins due to the commitment of each one of us.
Ensuring the ethical and sustainable development of Atim is essential to create a positive chain impact, which goes far beyond the company itself. Our collaborators, all the people involved in the production chain we are part of, and even the environment we protect in the best possible way benefit from this.
Our Code of Ethics has 3 main pillars:
The People – each person’s work and contribution is a fundamental element for Atim’s development. Guaranteeing the best conditions to carry them out with full safety, health and respect is our prerogative.
The Environment – we monitor and keep up to date with the latest technologies and procedures to ensure that our activities have the minimum impact on the environment.
The Society – transparency is a sine qua non condition of work in Atim. We operate with the utmost fairness and in compliance with the law, doing our part to create an ever more just and inclusive society.
“To convene the principles that have always guided our company in a solid document allows us to be even more transparent with all those who are part of Atim’s world: collaborators, agents, suppliers, customers, even the final consumers who choose our solutions in over 50 countries. This Code of Ethics clearly expresses our values and how we try to help preserve the planet in the present and for the future. When each of us does their part, everyone benefits”, says Stefano Del Prete, founder and CEO of Atim.
We invite you to read the full document on this link: