eCommerce Made Easy

Transforming Workspaces with the Help of Four-Legged Co-workers

February 13, 2024 Carrie Saunders Episode 41
eCommerce Made Easy
Transforming Workspaces with the Help of Four-Legged Co-workers
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Ever wondered how two feral cats could transform an office environment? That's exactly what happened when Mac and Brie, our unlikely feline friends, who clawed their way into the hearts of everyone at our office. In this episode, I want share how these rescued furballs have  changed our day to day work life and explore the pros and cons of having pets in the workplace.

Join us as we explore how whiskered coworkers can reshape the daily grind!

Find out more information about the Business Visibility Made Easy Course at www.ecommercemadeeasypodcast.com/bvme

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Speaker 1:

Hey everyone, I'm back from a week break of podcasting. If you didn't know from social media, I was super sick. I was sick for over 12 days and I thought it would be kind of cool to come back to the podcast with a really neat episode about pets in the workplace. And I have missed our two work kitties, mac and Bree. So I am hoping if we're watching you're watching this on the YouTube channel that they will show up on this video, as I am recording this podcast episode that I upload to YouTube as well. So come join me as we talk about pets in the workplaces, the advantages and disadvantages and why. You may or may not want to consider it.

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the Ecommerce Made Easy podcast. I'm your host, kiri Saunders. When we started this business, all I had was a couch, a laptop and a nine month old my main goal To help others. Now, with over 20 years in the e-commerce building industry and even more than that in web development, I have seen a lot. I love breaking down the hard tech and to easily understandable bits to help others be successful in their online business. Whether you're a seasoned e-commerce veteran or just starting out, you've come to the right place. So sit back, relax and let's dive into the world of e-commerce together.

Speaker 1:

Welcome back to this week's episode of the Ecommerce Made Easy podcast. I'm your host, kiri Saunders, and this week we're talking about a fun topic or at least a fun topic in my mind which is pets in the workplace. I know many of you might work from home or you might have your own office too, but the question is, how do pets really work with us or against us in the workplace? For us here at BCC, we have a lot of feral cats outside of our offices, and when we moved here in 2016, we would find one cat after another cat after another cat. It was almost like every week or every day we were finding a new cat that actually lived outside, and we were finding that these cats were pulling trash out of trash cans and eating them, and out of dumpsters too, and we kind of felt a bit sorry for them and we felt like, you know, we should try to contribute to the community and try to fix these cats and you might hear Breeze me yowing at me right now. I don't know if you can hear on the microphone, we'll see if you do, but anyway. So we decided to start befriending these cats and we would feed them, and that got them more friendly and more friendly. And one of the reasons we did that was one, we didn't really want them eating out of the trash cans or the dumpsters of our neighbors. And two, we knew that if we befriended them it would be much easier to trap them and spay and neuter them. So that's what we did and we've been doing that every time a new cat shows up, which we tend to have a clan now.

Speaker 1:

So new cats typically aren't something that we encounter anymore, but we did have this one new beautiful cat show up a couple years ago it was about two years ago, actually about now and we didn't get around to fixing her in time. And what happened? Well, she had a litter kittens and this was the first time we had a litter kittens here. Actually, if I want to go back a little bit farther, to when we first started doing this trapping and releasing of these feral cats, one of them got pregnant a second time before we could get her fixed. So we actually re-homed those kittens from her and her name is mommy. She used to be trash cats friend, but we dubbed her mommy once she had. That was actually her second litter kittens that she had here, the first litter she had before. We were really even into the fixing of the cats quite quick enough, because we had just moved in and actually have one of her second litter of cats at my house, and some of our employees actually have a cat from that litter as well.

Speaker 1:

Well, let's go back again now to two years ago. We had a litter kittens. This cat showed up. We didn't get her fixed in time, we were really busy and she was super friendly and she had a litter kittens. Well, once those kittens were born, I of course was working with them with wet food and, you know, getting them used to humans and things like that, and once they were old enough, we brought the kittens and the mommy into the girls bathroom here at BCC. So, long story short, though, we were able to re-home two of the four kittens, and usually we were able to re-home most kittens.

Speaker 1:

But you know, this is post COVID and most people had adopted an animal during COVID and not many people were wanting yet another cat or another kitten to take care of. So we as a collective here at BCC decided we were going to adopt these two kittens ourselves. They're both orange tabbies. They're beautiful tabbies and you probably see pictures of them on our social media sometimes and we decided to adopt them as our own and have them be our indoor cats. So now we have Mac and Brie in our office and that comes with, you know, more responsibility, of course, because we've got to take care of these cats, we've got to feed them, we got to do the litter. We have one person that comes on a Saturday and one other person that comes on a Sunday. That will also make sure they're attended to on the weekends, but during the week work week they're here with us from eight to five or six, depending on how long people are here, and we totally enjoy these cats.

Speaker 1:

Now, one of the really cool things about having a pet in the workplace is the fact that when you're having a bad day or just kind of need to pick me up, you can just go find a cat and go pet it, if you. Another thing that I do a lot is, you know I sit at my desk, of course, because it's a desk job when you're doing programming and running a business and I find I need to get up and move right. So one of the things I'll do is. You know, the cats, of course, will need to be played with. So I'll combine playing with the cat as well as moving, and I'll walk around the office dragging some object behind me that they love to play with usually just some random strap from a shipping thing and I will get me some movement out, get my brain refreshed as well as play with the cats and make it really fun and happy place for them, and I'm going to actually turn around. If you're on live video here with me well, not live, but video on YouTube I'm going to see if they're in here. Hold on, I thought I could hear them.

Speaker 1:

Anyway, so that is one nice thing about having pets in the office. It could be a dog, could be a cat, could be unconventional pets too, but it can really help bring up your spirits, and I know that every time I watch my employees come in to work, the first thing they do is they find mac or brie or both, and they have to give them pets and talk to them and, you know, just give them the love that they deserve and need in the morning. I know what I'm in the office breeze in here with me now, and it's just so wonderful to see that and to see the compassion and and the livelihood that it brings out in people when you have an animal in the workplace. Now, of course, I was worried about whether any of my employees or any future employees might be allergic to cats, but I accepted the fact that this was kind of what we were supposed to have was these two cats, mac and brie, and I just felt like this is just what we needed to do and it has been a blessing.

Speaker 1:

I will say when there are kittens, it was a little bit disruptive. So you do have to consider that when they're kittens and puppies and you know little babies, it can be a little bit disruptive. You know I would have to get up and you know, teach them things that they shouldn't be doing and things like that, and you know. So that can be a little bit disruptive. But in the end it brought me great joy to raise these two kittens in a loving environment and we just all simply adore and get huge laughs out of these cats. I mean, they're absolutely crazy sometimes in bonkers, and I could even go to the story where we actually had a mouse in our office and they had a harder time catching it than one of our employees, because the mouse was just hiding in a way that the cats couldn't even reach. It was really kind of comical to see the human catch the mouse and not the the cats, but they certainly tried.

Speaker 1:

So it can increase your productivity too in some ways, because I know that a brie especially she's the female cat loves to lay on my lap and loves to lay with me. And here comes Mac into my office, loves to lay with me and just she just purrs and just looks at me with such adoration and it just brings out those happy hormones and the pheromones in me and it just makes me a much happier person to have this animal that I've helped to raise from a little wee little kitten we were interacting with them as little as about a week or two old and it's just wonderful to see this you know cat that's grown into maturity and become a great companion of ours. And I'm just looking around my office again real quick just because I can hear their bells dingling. That's one thing that I would totally suggest, if you have cats in an actual office place rather than maybe in your home, is having a bell on them is really great to keep an ear on them whenever you need to see if they're being naughty or not and getting into something like pulling down snacks in their kitchen. They've totally done that.

Speaker 1:

So it does create a great work-life balance, because we're all humans. We need to not only get our jobs done when we're at work, but we also need to be able to have fun and be released and and really just kind of enjoy ourselves and our lives right and now they're over there sniffing on my coat because I haven't been here. I really haven't been here for I think it's been 12 days now. I really, really miss the office, I really miss the cats, and you might be able to hear it my voice my voice still isn't great and strong yet and I appreciate everybody's thoughts.

Speaker 1:

While I was really sick, it was quite the doozy. I've never been that sick before and I've also mentioned too. You know it helps your physical activity. Not only I walk around with the cats, but the employees will play with the cats as well, and so they get some them up and moving and their brain moving as well as their body moving, and it can be just a really great way to humanize the workplace, because I feel like and I've always felt this way that a stiff workplace is not an ideal workplace. I have always really valued family and personal life balance with my employees and you can probably ask any one of them and they will probably tell you that I really, really greatly value their personal lives as well. And now they're getting into my coat because I just find that you know, I've worked at places and honestly, I haven't worked too many places before starting BCC.

Speaker 1:

I was, you know, early 20s when I started BCC, but I did work places that it was just so strict and like you just couldn't be a person while you were at work and I found it so stiff and stifling and the creativity in me was stifled from that and I wanted to make sure that my employees weren't worried about their home life, whether it was their kids or their mom or their dad or somebody special to them that might need their extra help on this particular day. I didn't want them to worry about asking me whether they could take some time off to be with that person. So I feel like the pets in the workplace and the family values in the workplace is super important, and I think this can be applied whether you're a solopreneur or two or they actually have employees. Because even if you're a solopreneur, you need to have that mindset in your mind, to give yourself the grace that sometimes family and home life is a higher priority than the work life and you might have subcontractors and things like that, and you need to have the grace and the I can't think of the word right now, but anyway I think you know where I'm going here. You need to have compassion that's the word Compassion for life, cause life is here and life is here no matter whether we are at work or not. Life is always here and we need to make sure that we're always keeping that in mind when we are working. And I think setting boundaries whenever you do work from home is great. Having certain time blocks and we're going to go a little bit of a tangent here, because I did start this business working from home for quite a few years. I can't even remember how many now at least seven, if not 10. And you really need to have those certain start and stop times. So, whether you have your pets at your office office, where it's separate from your house, or they have your pets in your own house, having that work life, boundaries of time setting, as well as when you give yourself some freedom to enjoy life at the same time is super duper important, and I want to see if I can snag one of the cats before we wrap up.

Speaker 1:

She's right over here. Let me get free. I'm free. Here comes Mac. Hold on the boy's coming. I'll pick him up just one second case. You're on the YouTube channel, alright. So here's Mac. If you want to see us on the YouTube channel, you can just look up BCC LLC on the YouTube channel. I'm still working on renaming that to a bit better name, but here is our boy Mac. He's a wonderful boy. Orange cat. And then we have the female orange cat that looks very similar, although she's a bit tinier.

Speaker 1:

So back to pets in the workplace. I'd love to hear from you Do you have a pet in the workplace? Drop us an email. I podcast at BCIS Engineering.

Speaker 1:

I want to hear some of your stories. I find it just so heartwarming and I just love it when I see other business owners have pets in their workplace, and many of my business friends have like a dog or a cat or both in their workplace where they work. Many of them work from home, some of them don't, and we actually even let one of our employees bring her dog to the office. When she was a puppy especially, she came to the office and she was our companion here for a long time before we got Mac and before Mac and Bre were born and it was just great to see that and let my employee bring her own puppy who she was training and dog to the office because then she didn't have to worry about running home for lunch and letting the dog out. She could go take the dog for a walk during a break or at lunchtime.

Speaker 1:

So really ponder if you are not one that's been open to having a pet in the workplace, really ponder what could that bring to you.

Speaker 1:

And if you are, then ponder how can you make that a bit better for you and more enrich your life a bit better to have your pet in the workplace. So we would love to hear from you. Like I said, drop us an email at podcast at bcsengineeringcom. We want to hear what kind of pet do you have in your workplace? What's your pet's name, how did you get it? Tell us all the stories about it and I think I'm going to sign off here before my voice completely disappears from me and we really appreciate you being patient and us missing a week on the episode on the podcast. I'm very super duper ill. My employees were great and created some social media posts so you guys knew what was going on and I appreciate everybody's thoughts, and many of you have reached out to me to see how I'm doing. I am much better. I'm still not fully 100% there yet, but I really appreciate everybody's thoughts and I hope you enjoyed this one episode about pets in the workplace.

Pets in Workplace
Pets in the Workplace
Pets in the Workplace