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Workplace pet: Joy the Vizsla

Few can boast the job title 'head of interior design and construction', especially at the age of two and a half. Sonia Pash tells UMi how Joy the Vizsla helps out in her workplace, from improving the office atmosphere to advising on the right shade of blue velvet. 

What does your company do?

Temza is an interior design studio based in Pimlico, London with an in-house construction team. We create outstanding spaces, not only aesthetically beautiful, but functional as well. Our projects include family homes, from compact and functional apartments to grand houses with cinema and spa facilities, investment projects with strict budgets and commercial spaces such as cafés, restaurants and offices. 

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

Joy is a 2-and-a-half-year-old Hungarian Vizsla and the head of our interior design and construction team here at our Pimlico office. Yes, she has a lot on her paws! She has the challenging, but very exciting position of overlooking everyone’s daily tasks-creative process, team meetings, client meet and greets and obviously she’s very concerned about our emotional wellbeing as well as food choices. She is a lively dog, full of energy, loves to play and cuddle, but more than everything she loves her green sofa, an improvised throne from where she observes the whole team, as well as passing by strangers and of course the postman.

How did they become your workplace pet?

Joy has been working full time for Temza since she was a puppy. Full time, 5 days a week 8 hours a day. After Temza moved to our Pimlico office, a calm and friendly area, naturally it was time for a new addition to the team. Joy was the perfect match, and she’s been successfully covering all her office duties and managing the design team ever since. 

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

Joy can change the atmosphere in the whole office in a second. She always gives warm welcome to everyone and senses very well who needs a hug. Some days can be more demanding and she’s always happy to help, trying carpet samples, choosing the right colour of blue velvet or sniffing and opening all the delivered packages, sometimes even the neighbour’s packages.

What made you decide to bring pets into your workplace?

We wanted to create a calm, welcoming and joyful atmosphere. Sometimes designing the perfect workplace comes with an addition of a work pet. It’s all about building a happy environment, which would encourage and inspire people to do more and achieve more. Joy is the little finishing touch to creating this happy work environment.

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

Yes, definitely! Pets, and especially dogs have been scientifically proven to help with anxiety and stress. As mentioned previously Joy senses and judges the situation very well, knows when she can come and play and when to better let the team do their job.

Any unexpected benefits? Or, indeed, pitfalls?

During the day we often forget to get away from our desks and monitor screens. That is when we take Joy for short walks. In a way this is an indirect opportunity to stand up, stretch, grab some fresh air and clear our heads. Sometimes that’s all you need when ideas are not flowing smoothly-an unexpected benefit indeed.

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

We take turns in walking her, but the honour of feeding and cleaning falls into my hands. Our construction director, Pawel, and I are the ones responsible for these tasks. Plus we do like to spoil her every now and then with freshly scrambled eggs in the morning or organic salmon for dinner. The rest of the team get to treat her occasionally, usually after a successfully completed photoshoot.

Ever find it a distraction?

Joy is very rarely a distraction, more like an everyday 6pm alarm and reminder that the working day has finished and it’s time to go home. She is very well behaved and if for some reason we are not able to give her the attention needed we just ask her to go to her place, for a short nap and she does.

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

We are biased here, but having a dog and especially a designer dog, like Joy is a dream come true. For different reasons, not everyone gets to have a pet at home. Having one at the office and spending most of the work week in its company is almost the same thing. Pets are not for everyone; however, they do brighten the day even of the moodiest person, which surely can be very beneficial for your business.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Since Joy is a very special member of our team and an established interior designer, she is very much into social media and especially Instagram, where she shares everyday thoughts on her adventures and challenges with Temza. We would encourage everyone to follow her and get to have an insight of day to day creative tasks, managing advice and London dog-friendly cafes and restaurants recommendations.

Ashleigh Smith
Article by Ashleigh Smith
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