Get to know a content marketer at one of Toronto’s coolest dog friendly offices!
By the Get Leashed Doggy Style Team
We’re always thrilled to find out an office is dog-friendly, especially when the office belongs to a leading e-commerce company with a great backstory and awesome, industry leading ideas. Shopify is the pinnacle of a cool workplace. Staff are young, tech-savvy and full of bright ideas. Their offices cater to a positive work environment, with tons of meeting rooms, common spaces, and chill zones. Most importantly, they allow dogs.
We met Dayna Winter, a veteran (for the tech industry) employee at Shopify after a reader pointed us to an Instagram she took with the mayor of TO in the Shopify office alongside Archie, her Boston Terrier-Beagle mix. We had heard rumblings that Shopify was dog-friendly and totally had a Get Leashed vibe, and the image proved it at a glance. Plus, Dayna seemed like a genuinely rad person and we wanted to meet her.
Shopify gets it – caring for your pup is a big responsibility and responsible people make good employees. We were able to get the lowdown on the importance of Shopify’s dog-friendly environment from Shavonne Hasfal-Mcintosh, the company’s cultural ambassador:
“There are well documented benefits to allowing pets in the office, from stress reduction to increasing workplace morale and camaraderie. At Shopify, these are all great benefits but it’s important to us for an additional reason.
No one likes to leave their favourite furball at home alone for any extended period of time, and the balance between pet-care obligations and work-related productivity can be a tough one to manage. So at Shopify, we’re looking to take some of that anxiety off our employees by inviting dogs into the office. This helps to alleviate some of the “it’s 5pm, I must-rush home” pressure, and offer a sense of comfort to both our employees and their pets.
Of course we have a few basic guidelines we ask our people and pets to follow (imagine the chaos otherwise!) to ensure everyone has a comfortable and safe place to work. So far the benefits have been amazing, for both pet-owners and their petless peers. As for the dogs? Their feedback has been entirely positive. We just need to work on their productivity.”
In her profile below, Dayna gives us the inside scoop on what it means to her to be able to bring Archie to the office – even if he always rats her out when she’s going to the loo!
Please tell us about yourself:
I’ve been at Shopify for almost 3 years, and spent the bulk of that time building the social team. It was a one-woman operation when I started in 2013! I recently transitioned over to the content team, and will be writing for the Shopify Blog. I decided in November that I wasn’t digging leading a team. I’m a doer, and I missed getting my hands dirty. Writing is my true love, so the move makes a lot of sense for me. I’m spending my days now interviewing Shopify merchants and writing inspirational content about the entrepreneurial experience.
A bit about your pet:
Archie is a Boston Terrier-Beagle mix. I adopted him when he was two, after he had been shuffled around between rescue agencies and foster homes. I didn’t particularly set out to adopt his specific breed – I wanted a rescue, and ideally a small one because of the size of my apartment at the time. We had a Jack Russell back then, too, and were looking for a dog with a similar size and energy level. I’m pretty enthusiastic and optimistic, while Archie is generally aloof and skeptical, so I think we balance each other out nicely.
What does your ideal weekend look like?
My ideal weekend is spent on the road, exploring remote places and obscure roadside Americana, likely with my vintage camper trailing behind. I need to move around a lot. Maybe it’s my military upbringing, or maybe I was a shark in another life.
Describe your personal style:
First day of kindergarten meets Sterling Cooper secretary.
What inspires you?
I can’t avoid being cliché here, but my Dad inspires me most of all. He came from nothing, and therefore appreciates things in life that most of us take for granted. He reminds me that gratitude is important.
How would you describe the look and feel of your home?
If Kate Spade and Iris Apel trashed a Wes Anderson set, the result would be my apartment. It’s a mishmash of bold colour, vintage, pattern mixing and (organized) clutter.
Why is a dog-friendly office culture important to you?
I’m really thankful for the pet-friendliness of the Shopify Toronto office. It spares me a lot of stress when I know I have to be at work late – I don’t have to worry about leaving early to let him out. I think he (and the other Shopify dogs) really make people happy, too!
A story about Archie:
Archie had pretty severe separation anxiety when I first adopted him, and after my first big move to a new apartment. Before I worked at Shopify, I had to leave him at home, and he once barked for 6 hours straight according to the woman who lived upstairs. It was confirmed by his voice: he had barked himself completely hoarse. We worked through a lot of that anxiety and he’s actually a really chill dog now. People at Shopify have referred to him as “the office cat.” While I can now leave him at home for a stretch without issue, he seems to still take exception if I use the bathroom at work without him. He’ll cry outside the door, announcing what I’m doing to the whole office.