BANGKOK – Humans are not the only creatures to roam between the desks in this digital advertising agency office in Bangkok.
Whether taking a snooze on a pile of papers, patiently waiting for a mid-morning snack, or pottering over to the litter box, these balls of fluff are part of a growing bring-your-dog-to-work trend in Thailand.
“Having pet dogs around helps to create a relaxed atmosphere (in the office), helps re-charge our energy when we become too stressed,” said YDM’s owner, Anankanart Kongpanichku, 42, who introduced the policy when she founded the agency eight years ago.
The policy has become particularly popular at companies known for their irregular work hours, and some say it can help alleviate stress and attract, and retain, employees.
“With an office like this, I want to come to work even more,” said Thimpaporn Phopipat, 29, a digital public relations manager at YDM.
Several studies point the benefits of having a man’s best friend in the workplace, including a May 2017 study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. But the same study also said their presence may pose several hazards and risks, including allergies and animal-borne diseases.
“Sometimes I feel annoyed by dogs,” said an account manager at the film, Jitramas Watana-ug, 31. “It can get chaotic, but it also comes with happiness and calm.”
Other advertisement agencies in the Thai capital also have dog friendly policies but YDM, with nearly 200 employees and 20 pet dogs, is by far the largest when it comes to the scheme.