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This Philippine Startup Has Pets At The Office To Keep Employees Happy

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.


[caption id="attachment_1836" align="aligncenter" width="300"]10830756_10203853872094357_7049029423503200689_o Pi, Einstein, and Jake resting on the couch. Source: JE Ayson.[/caption]


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.


[caption id="attachment_1854" align="aligncenter" width="300"]IMG_20150405_221652 A QC-born-and-raised cat, the dignified Luna has found a home at the Kalibrr Hacker House. Source: JE Ayson.[/caption]



[caption id="attachment_1840" align="aligncenter" width="300"]11041900_10206734242540058_973635054937816438_o Jake is a rescued kitten from the streets of Pasig. Source: Danielle Ayag.[/caption]


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.”


[caption id="attachment_1842" align="aligncenter" width="200"]11194652_10207138941977291_3919425877571575959_o Pi and Jake playing with their toys. Source: Danielle Ayag.[/caption]


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.


[caption id="attachment_1853" align="aligncenter" width="300"]DSC_1170 Kaye the bunny sniffing around. Source: Chad Estioco.[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_1902" align="aligncenter" width="225"]Einstein being cute Einstein being cute and begging for food. Source: Ariane Ladao.[/caption]


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.”

[caption id="attachment_1845" align="aligncenter" width="240"]pJljAZ4 Wrestling matches and playtime between Pi & Jake.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1844" align="aligncenter" width="240"]nmoxYqi Jake the cat is ready to fight![/caption]




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.”


[caption id="attachment_1837" align="aligncenter" width="129"]9kW2l5c But this kitty just loves paper.[/caption]



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?”


[caption id="attachment_1839" align="aligncenter" width="300"]10857227_10203814789917327_8761698397476507884_o Pets increase employee productivity… Source: JE Ayson.[/caption]



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!


[caption id="attachment_1841" align="aligncenter" width="169"]11128818_10204235177906764_7562917576480715519_o There’s usually one culprit for the poop landmines. Source: JE Ayson.[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_1843" align="aligncenter" width="300"]11212343_10203980633496762_459861845_n These bunnies get the love and attention that they need. Source: Jisselle Bidania.[/caption]


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?