Workplace pet: Marv the cocker spaniel

The ultimate professional, Marv knows when to make himself scarce for meetings at Force24's Leeds-based office. His owner, Diana Rowatt, tells us what it's like to have him working with them.

What does your company do?

Force24 is a UK-built and managed, GDPR-compliant marketing automation platform based in Leeds. The technology has been created by marketers, for marketers, throughout the country.

Far from another faceless organisation, our biggest asset is the people behind the tech – a team of passionate experts with a range of skills including strategy, design and technical development.

And introduce us to your workplace pet… What’s their name, and what kind of pet are they?

Our black, bouncy, working Cocker Spaniel is called Marv and he’s three-and-a-half years old.

How did they become your workplace pet?

I would usually get a pet sitter for Marv, but there were a few occasions where no-one was available to look after him, so I brought him into the office. I know some people don’t like dogs, but everybody loved him instantly – and he was such a good boy – so his visits became more frequent!

What’s it like having an animal around the place?

In a nutshell – fabulous! It definitely helps to promote a calm atmosphere, and Marv is the most chilled out Cocker Spaniel you’ll ever meet.

What made you decide to bring pets into your workplace?

It was mostly circumstance, due to me not wanting to leave him home alone all day, but now we couldn’t imagine life in the office without him.

Does it have an effect on stress, and on how the whole team works together?

It helps to create a positive working environment, as Marv is always so happy to see everyone which has a knock-on effect on our team. He’s even helped one of my colleagues, Liv, overcome her fear of dogs!

Any unexpected benefits? Or, indeed, pitfalls?

When he’s in the office it forces me – and some other colleagues who wish to join us – to get some lunchtime fresh air and take a break away from our desks, which is something I wouldn’t do otherwise. No pitfalls – he was completely toilet trained when he joined the company!

Who’s responsible for walking, feeding, cleaning… any of the ‘less popular’ jobs?

I am as he’s mine, but other people do help out sometimes.

Ever find it a distraction?

Not at all! When we have meetings, he heads over to his bed and sleeps until it’s finished. He’s the ultimate professional!

What would you tell other people who were reluctant to take in an office pet?

Take the plunge and get one. They have tonnes of health benefits, as well as put a smile on your face – even our clients adore him!

Anything else you’d like to add?

If Marv doesn’t come into the office for over a week, people ask where he is. He’s become a huge part of our team now and is really missed when he’s not in!

Neina Sheldon
Article by Neina Sheldon
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