The Dog Days Aren’t Over

Pets at work XTM International Monday Motivation

The Dog Days Aren’t Over

Almost a decade ago, Pudsey, a border collie, won the sixth series of Britain’s Got Talent by dancing to the theme from “Mission Impossible”. He was a talented dog, but the result owed more to the affection we have for our pets than to his own particular set of skills. Over the past few days we’ve had further reminders of that affection.

In Florida, Mike McCoy was out walking Jake, his eight month old Labrador when an alligator leapt out of a nearby pond and dragged the puppy into an underwater death roll. McCoy immediately jumped in to the rescue, and after a brief struggle Jake was freed. Less heroically, but just as tellingly, a new report suggests that when we return to work after lockdown, there will be an emotional impact not only on us but on the pets we’ll be leaving at home.

Pet ownership in the UK has skyrocketed over the past year, with 3.2 million British households getting new pets to help them cope with long hours at home. Almost 80% of people surveyed said they’d bonded with their pets during this difficult time, but now, with so many preparing for a return to the daily commute, those bonds will be tested.

Dr Tammie King, Pet Behaviourist at Mars Petcare, warns us that we may be facing a period of pet separation anxiety, for our four legged friends as well as ourselves.

So what’s the answer? One enlightened solution that’s been trialled successfully by Amazon, Google and Nestlé is to bring our pets to work. Nestlé Purina’s launch of Pets at Work (yes – PAW) proved to be a significant contributor to employee wellness. Nestlé adapted its Gatwick office, creating an open-plan workplace where staff and their dogs could sit together comfortably and happily.

The programme was a key component of Nestlé’s wider Health and Wellbeing agenda, and their own internal surveys revealed that employees became happier, healthier and more productive when their pets were welcome in the workplace.

Pet-friendly workplaces can reduce stress, improve performance and generally promote a family atmosphere of engagement and well-being. This strikes a chord with us at XTM International. Like any large organisation we have our share of animal lovers. Of the 20 most pet-friendly countries in the world, we have a presence in 18, and the pattering of paws, both canine and feline, has been a regular feature of our team calls over the past year. As we come out of lockdown, our commitment to workplace wellness is stronger than ever. We applaud our customers’ efforts to make their people feel comfortable and valued, and it’s our pleasure to contribute with a software solution that actively promotes employee engagement, motivation and self-starting performance improvement.

With XTM Cloud 12.7 we’ve taken further strides forward in application of NLP Artificial Intelligence, with our Inter-language Vector Space technology drawing on an exhaustive data search across the entire internet to deliver a mathematically precise calculation revealing how likely a translation is to be accurate. Automating that process takes a slew of simple tasks away from linguists, enabling human intelligence to be applied in the areas where it makes the greatest impact. Talented people spend more time using their talent, fostering a general sense of engagement, interactivity and pride in performance. System users become happier and more motivated, employee productivity soars and employee turnover plummets. Things just get better. You might say it’s the systems equivalent of bringing your pet to work.

Not every dog owner is as fearless as Mike McCoy, and not every dog is as light on its feet as Pudsey, but animals don’t have to dance on their hind legs to make people happy and motivated. And yes, the right translation management system can help make people happy and motivated too. The dog days certainly aren’t over, and the days of intelligent automation are only just beginning.