By Jiraporn Kuhakan and Panu Wongcha-um
BANGKOK (Reuters) – Nimo bounds out of a car 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, Thimpaporn Phopipat, to work everyday at digital advertising agency YDM in the Thai capital.
“Since I already love dogs, it really made me want to work here,” said 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 work 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 to buffer stress at work, however.
Even those who don’t 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 Jitramas Watana-ug, 31, a YDM account manager.
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,” Anuckanard said.
(The story corrects the spelling of agency owner in paragraph 12)
(Additional reporting by Amy Sawitta Lefevre; Editing by Amy Sawitta Lefevre and Clarence Fernandez)