Farmyard in your Schoolyard offers alpaca therapy in the workplace as a way of improving corporate wellness.
They have been working with a range of companies, including eBay, LinkedIn, Microsoft and Portershed, offering novel ways of improving employee well-being whilst being cost-effective, non-disruptive and inclusive for all.
The owners of the Galway-based national agri-business, claim that the therapy animals can boost office morale, encourage teamwork and improve office productivity.
Speaking to That’s Farming, Christina James, owner of Farmyard in your Schoolyard, said: “Corporate wellness is incredibly important due to increasing demands on employees to be productive whilst managing full workloads.”
"Employees that are happy and relaxed in the workplace tend to take far fewer days off.”
"Feeling like part of a team or group can improve workplace communication and morale around the office,” Christina added.
Farmyard in your Schoolyard has cleverly tapped into the wellness market by providing a more affordable and less disruptive way of improving staff wellness on-site.
Mainstream corporate wellness programmes tend to be off-site and can be costly when you consider the time taken off work and travel to attend these workshops, the entrepreneur outlined.
A visit from Farmyard in your Schoolyard can take as little as an hour or two in your own workspace. Christina also assures clients that they operate a ‘leave no trace’ policy and that the programme is inclusive to all.
They recently visited Portershed – a collaborative co-working office space for Galway-based businesses. "The anticipation and atmosphere in the office were wonderful. We arrived at around 10 am.” Christina explained.
“These award-winning Alpacas (Ear to the Ground and Eurythmics) waited quite happily in the reception before staff arrived a few at a time to pet, cuddle and take them for walks.”
“Staff took it in turns to pet, walk and feed the alpacas; they took selfies, shared them on social media and enjoyed some wonderful cuddle time.”
Some decided to have an office meeting with the animals on their meeting desk. “The visit lasted 90-minutes and everyone felt happy, relaxed and said they would recommend the visit to others working in an office environment,” Christina concluded.