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.