By Joan Magno on May 5, 2015
Enter this Philippine startup’s office and you’ll be greeted by an excited beagle and a shih tzu. Regardless of shape and size, pets come in and out of the Hacker House, an apartment complex in Makati home to Kalibrr’s developers and designers. It’s one of the few offices in the country that have welcomed pets with open paws.
According to a survey conducted by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, 75 million Americans believe that pets at the office make everyone happier and less stressed. This belief resonates with employees at the Hacker House, who say that more happiness and less stress are just a few of the many benefits that their pets have brought.
This startup believes that pets are conducive to the creative and collaborative environment echoed in Silicon Valley. “With so much work to do, pets actually help me keep sane,” claims lead product designer Kevin Velasco. “I've had Pi since he was a puppy. It's great having him around at the office.”
There are currently 6 pets residing at the Hacker House: Pi the beagle, Einstein the shih tzu, Ember the labrador, Jake the kitty, Luna the cat, and Kaye the bunny. As the number of animals exceed the number of humans at the apartment, it obviously gets quite crazy.
What’s the best thing about having pets at the office?
“Pets are free entertainment and free wrestling matches!” shares Chad Estioco, developer and full-time hacker house tenant. “They’re definitely stress relievers.”
Business Operations Head Ariane Ladao says that she allows pets at the office because they lighten the mood and make people happy. “I don’t mind having pets around so long as they don’t eat my papers.”
Have pets improved work productivity?
Cassandra Wang, who rescued Jake as a kitten, says that when Jake sleeps on her, she has to continue working because she can’t move about. “That’s productivity!” she says.
Yet JE Ayson begs to differ: “How can I work when this kitten is on my keyboard?”
What’s the hardest thing about keeping pets at the office?
“The poop,” says Tim. Chad adds, “It’s definitely more exciting because of those landmines.” Whether it’s cleaning up after the pets, or making sure they keep the floor clean so they don't eat anything questionable, the startup employees thoroughly enjoy showing these pets much needed TLC. They’re even buying a kiddie pool for the labrador puppy!
Amidst the balls of fur and poop, these pets keep everyone happy and stress-free. Who wouldn’t be happy going to work if a bunch of wags and smiles would greet you as you enter?