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Meet Seedy, the purr-fect colleague

Saman Haziq/Dubai
Filed on February 18, 2017
Meet Seedy, the purr-fect colleague

Marie said bringing him in has actually served as a team-building exercise

In the hubbub of hectic corporate chaos, competition and stress, a Dubai office has devised the purr-fect way to create an environment to relax and help its staff stay motivated and happy. The Pomegranate Institute has adopted a three-year-old rescued cat and named him Seedy (matching with the name of the institute) and the move has not only helped the employees unwind but has also increased the team's productivity.

Having Seedy in the institute, as a team building initiative, has contributed to the team a 'family' feel, which has also raised the happiness quotient at work, said cofounder of the institute Marie-Alex Saaeva.

Marie said bringing him in has actually served as a team-building exercise. As per a study, having animals around has shown to facilitate employees interacting with one another where they wouldn't normally venture outside their comfort zones.

"People have become more responsible at work now. They take care of him like a family member. If they are not in a good mood, they just drop by in this area and see Seedy play around and return to their desks happier."

When asked how Seedy has brought the team together, Marie said: "Sometimes it's easier to talk to a co-worker if there is a pet around to break the ice. Seedy has in a way brought the team together. We have learnt to adjust with him and now we all have something common to talk about - Seedy."

"Although I don't interact much with Seedy after I lost my pet sometime ago, it knows just the right time and way to approach me - weekends, when it's only him and me in office. He is intelligent; and never approaches me when people are around. So when it is only him and me, he cutely comes around to gauge my mood. And that's when I give in and interact with him."

Cognitive teacher at the institute Luana Lombardo, who actually introduced Seedy at the institute after bringing him from an adoption centre, said: "He has been here for one month now and the change it has brought about in the employees of the institute is beautiful.

"I am always smiling now. In fact the whole office seems to be more interactive, happy and motivated at work. Some of us come to this sitting area (Seedy's territory) when we need a break and he lovingly comes and rubs against us, plays with us just like a little kid. The whole practice is so enjoyable and we go back to work rejuvenated," added Louana.

Seedy loves people. In fact, Luana feels that after being rescued, the cat seems 'grateful'. "He realises that he was not in a very good condition before but now this person got me to a nice home and gave me a good life. So he loves all of us."

'Pampering so fulfilling'

The pet feline not only loves the office staff but salutes all the clients and visitors with a welcoming 'meeeow'. Thanks to the cognitive training that Luana gives him.

Although cats are okay staying alone, Seedy has gotten so used to being around the team that it cries when he sees us leave office. It just doesn't like being alone anymore" Luana said.

Another faculty member at the institute said: "I don't have a baby, so having Seedy around gives me a feeling of having a little kid around constantly seeking your attention, wanting you to pamper it. It is just so fulfilling. In the morning when we come to office, we are welcomed by little Seedy running to us. It's just such an awesome feeling to see someone waiting to welcome you."

Talking about how Seedy brightens up her day, staff member Mariam said: "If you having a hard day, then seeing Seedy just makes you forget the worries of the world. Now I look forward to coming to office. In fact I am excited to come earlier just so that I can play with Seedy for sometime."

Staff member Mariam added: " Seedy is such a marvellous and intelligent cat. I feel it relives a lot of stress. At times when I feel too bogged down with work, I just take a moment away from the computer and just stroke Seedy, it energises me. I feel happy and get back to work happier."

saman@khaleejtimes.com


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