Introducing Petworking

Introducing Petworking

Grow Talk by Sofy Robertson

Grow Talk, the newest feature for Grow’s online platform, provides commentary on what’s happening both locally and globally and discusses its impact on the business world. Written by Sofy Robertson, our Online Content Assistant and the newest member of our editorial team, Grow Talk will be a regular feature exclusive to our website.

Meet Birdie, Grow’s very own office dog and the inspiration for ‘Petworking’, our premier pet networking platform.

Technically speaking, Birdie belongs to our Head of Business Development and Events, Alice Bryan, but we at Grow claim equal parts ownership. Birdie comes into the office around three times a week and accompanies Alice on many of her business calls.

Not only is Birdie Grow’s unique (and adorable) mascot, her role in our team involves so much more than this and sleeping on her own fluffy unicorn bed. Because of this, we felt it was only fitting to put the credit where it’s due and celebrate Birdie’s role in our office and how she has inspired our newest venture.

It’s safe to say that Birdie is Grow’s well-being ambassador; she’s always there for a cuddle when you’re feeling a bit down; she provides a welcome break from our computer screens; she encourages us to get active, leave our desks and take her for walks; and she makes us laugh from the smelliness of her breath to her ridiculously ineffective guard dog instincts when new people arrive.

But don’t take our word for the benefits of having an office pet. A study in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management found that having access to dogs has a calming influence and reduces stress levels, whether the dog is your own or not. A further study carried out by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University focused on a manufacturing company where employees brought their pets to work. The study praised dogs for the positive impact they had in the workplace where both employee performance and morale were boosted.

We can’t let ourselves get too human-centred and forget the benefits for Birdie, and all the other office pets out there. She gets to interact with a wide range of people (and animals on her lunchtime walks!) every day and experiences a range of new environments when she joins Alice on business outings. And let’s face it, she gets a constant amount of fuss!

With all these benefits in mind and our relentlessly positive attitude, we wanted to celebrate pets like Birdie and their role within our working lives. Thus,  Grow Pet Networking, or ‘Petworking’ as we like to call it, was born. If you are a dog owner, you will know it is almost impossible to take your pooch for a walk without talking to and interacting with other humans and their canines. Cat owners out there, if you are anything like me, you may follow other cat lovers on Insta or watch and share feline escapades on Facebook. When it comes down to it, we are social beings and our love of animals encourages this. So why not combine this with business? we thought.

Our ‘Petnetworking’ initiative begins with finding out about your pets; whether they are office pets like Birdie or simply the pets that greet you at home after a hard day’s work. We are calling for you to send us your pet photos,  along with your pet’s name and a few words about what makes them so special. Stay tuned through our website and social media to see the highlights and for details of Grow’s first ever ‘Petworking’ event, a chance for your four-legged/winged/scaly/hairy friend to bring along its human and have a good pow-wow.

Send your photos to and don’t forget to tell us your pet’s name and a few words on what makes them so special.

Birdie and her owner Alice Bryan holding a copy of Grow Exeter magazine.



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