Detroit-based publisher’s hopped up employee perks
(April 1, 2014) Detroit, MI – Employees at Avanti Press have a unique slogan found on the walls of their downtown Detroit offices: “Work Hard. Be Funny. Play with Bunnies.”
The slogan refers to the company’s dedicated “Bunny Zone,” an area set aside for employees to relax and decompress in a converted conference room that is currently home to 32 bunnies. The “B-zone” as it is affectionately known, accommodates up to 5 employees at a time, often resulting in long queues of staffers waiting their turn.
Employees enjoy sitting with the bunnies, petting them, and feeding them carrots for 10 minutes at a time. The activity has been proven to reduce stress and even raise endorphins, which employees agree increases their productivity. “Even while we’re waiting in line to pet bunnies,” explains one manager, “we notice an increased sense of focus and calm. Nothing beats the B-Zone!”
Avanti, known as the Global Humor Brand™, publishes greeting cards sold across North America and around the world. Characters from popular cards also appear on consumer products including apparel and accessories, gifts and stationery, pet products, party goods, school supplies and more.
“Few people understand how truly competitive greeting card publishing really is these days,” explains Avanti’s Human Resources Manager, Babette Lapinski. “In order to attract and retain the most talented people in the industry, we had to up our game. The B-Zone is something they can’t find anywhere else!”
“Most of us take two or three bunny breaks a day,” describes one staffer. “I don’t know what I’d do without them. Some days when the pressure of making seriously funny greeting cards really gets to me, the fact that I’ve got some bunny time ahead of me really keeps me going.”
Detractors claim that playing with bunnies has made some employees “soft”. The company considered a work-place productivity arbiter to study this theory but the money ear-marked for the project was eaten up by bulk carrot purchases. Only time will tell if more companies will follow Avanti’s example or not. One thing is for certain, those bunnies sure are cute!
April Fools! The photos in this article were actually taken when Avanti’s offices were overwhelmed by the response to an open casting call for rabbits to appear in an upcoming Easter card.