Thai advertising agency introduces 'bring your dog to work' scheme

An advertising agency in Bangkok has introduced dog friendly policies to encourage employees to bring their pets to work to alleviate stress and help create a relaxed atmosphere.

BANGKOK (REUTERS) - Nimo bounds out of the car every day in a rush to get to work at a Bangkok advertising agency. 

But Nimo is no ordinary employee.

He’s a dog.

The brown-haired husky accompanies his owner, Ms Thimpaporn Phopipat, to work every day at digital advertising agency YDM in the Thai capital.

“Since I already love dogs, it really made me want to work here,” said Ms Thimaporn, 29, a digital public relations manager who also takes along her chihuahua Muu Pan.

The "bring your dog to work" trend is gaining momentum in Thailand, particularly at companies like advertisement firms that are known to require irregular working hours.

The policy can help to alleviate stress as well as attract and retain employees, say some.

Other advertisement agencies in the Thai capital have dog-friendly policies, but YDM, with nearly 200 employees and 20 pet dogs, is by far the largest to adopt the scheme.

Several studies point to the benefits of dogs in the workplace, but a May 2017 study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health warned against hazards such as allergies and animal-borne diseases.

The same report said pets could help provide a buffer to stress at work, however.

Even those who do not bring their pets to work say other people’s pets help colleagues to bond better.

“Sometimes things can get chaotic, but it’s a good kind of chaos, because it makes me happy and relaxed,” said YDM account manager Jitramas Watana-ug, 31.

Agency owner Anuckanard Kongpanichakul, 42, introduced the dog-friendly policy when she founded YDM eight years ago. 

“For me, it is very joyful, it feels like this is a home,” Ms Anuckanard said.