Bode, OMM / by Anne Bussone

What can increase creativity, improve one’s mood, boost productivity, and reduce stress in an office setting? Answer: a dog. That’s right, and Reiss Design Studio is one of those pet-friendly offices that seem to be trending these days. Studies show that allowing four-legged employees into the workplace can be beneficial to the bottom line, boost morale and productivity, and even attract clients.

Bode the Aussie with Frisbee.jpg

Reiss Design Studio hired Bode four years ago as our first Office Merriment Manager (OMM). He’s been one of our best hires in recent years, and he's
always quite enthusiastic. Bode receives consistently high marks in his annual reviews; however, sleeping on the job
and licking human legs are habits that management at Reiss Design Studio
are addressing.

I recently sat down with Bode for an interview, wearing long pants so as not
to tempt him.

Reiss Design Studio:  Please tell us a little about yourself.

Bode:  I was born in Hemet, CA, raised by my mom and dad in Atascadero, and now we live in Templeton. Pedigree-wise, I’m an Aussie. Some people think I’m a puppy, but I’m really 9-1/2 years old! I’m not sure why they think that, unless it’s because my mom cuts my hair in the summer, so my face looks bigger than my body, BOL (barking out loud)!

Reiss Design Studio:  How did you find us?

Bode:  My position at Reiss Design Studio in San Luis Obispo was a calling for me. I love to walk and hike, and my friend, Anne, takes me out every day. It’s SO much fun to sniff all the different smells along the way while we're walking, and she keeps up a good pace so that I can maintain my svelte body. I love the way everyone in the office is so happy. Reiss Design Studio truly is a positive place to work. Oh, and every Friday I get to go on a 2-hour hike on Cerro San Luis or Bishop's Peak. Click here to see some of my favorite hikes in the San Luis Obispo area.

  On top of Cerro San Luis 

On top of Cerro San Luis 

Reiss Design Studio:  What do you do here?

Bode:  My job title is Office Merriment Manager—OMM for short. My job is to check-in on each colleague first thing in the morning and make sure everyone is ready to design amazing wineries, libraries, and homes. I give each person a good lick on their leg, then it's time to get cranking. Later in the morning, I go for my daily walk with Anne. After we return to the office I usually take a nap—which, by the way, keeps coming up in my annual reviews, but I actually think it's a positive influence on my co-workers because it reminds them to slow down and b-r-e-a-t-h-e! I try not to snore, though, so that it won't disturb them. When I wake up from my nap there’s usually somebody having lunch, so I join them. You wouldn’t believe how generous my co-workers are in sharing their lunches with me! I feel so blessed to have such great friends to work with. Afternoons are spent following people around the office to make sure they're using their time efficiently, but I try not to be a micro-manager. Lastly, I am in charge of answering the door, security, and collecting the mail and deliveries.

Reiss Design Studio:  I heard you have a side job as well. Can you explain that to us?

Bode:  Yes, I do excellent vertebrate control at vineyards for our clients. Ground squirrels pose particular problems for vineyards and equestrian areas. I'm very helpful with establishing a plan and controlling the population of these annoying little critters!

Reiss Design Studio:  What other life experiences have you had?

Bode:  Well, since 9-1/2 human years is 66-1/2 canine years, it's undeniable that I have a lot of life experience under my collar. I've seen SO much—huge snow loads in Park City, Utah; California Coastal Commission proceedings; firsthand experience with the extreme drought and water conservation activities in California—you name it, I've seen it (and probably smelled it)!

Reiss Design Studio:  What do you do for fun and recreation?

Bode:  Well, I have to admit that my favorite activity is going to the dog park. But I also love long runs on the beach, playing Frisbee, hiking, and enjoying good cuisine (I’m somewhat of a foodie).

  Out on the trail in San Luis Obispo

Out on the trail in San Luis Obispo

Reiss Design Studio:  What else do you like about living on the Central Coast?

Bode:  I’m a huge fan of this area. It’s the most dog-friendly place I’ve ever been. There are so many great trails to hike on, several dog beaches where I can run free and hang out with other dogs, and some fabulous dog parks where I’ve made many canine friends. Also, you can’t beat the weather on the Central Coast—we get about 300 days of sunshine per year!!

Reiss Design Studio:  What are some of your aspirations?

Bode:  I tend to live fairly serendipitously, so I don’t really have set goals per se. But I do aspire to be the best Office Merriment Manager that I can possibly be and live my life to the fullest every day (thank you, Oprah!). I think I have a tremendous effect on others, and that makes me a very happy dog, indeed.