The summer months saw record breaking figures with temperatures reaching close to 40 degrees. Consequently, many of the UK workforce were grateful for office air cons to help get them through the day. Carlene notes on her observations during this time:
A lot of our employees wanted to come to the office because we have pretty good air con. But it occurred to me that WFH employees’ pets might be struggling in the heatwave, too. I took the lead, so to speak, and brought my dogs into the office.
Stroking a dog is known to reduce stress and increase wellbeing, releasing vital mood-boosting hormones like serotonin and oxytocin into the bloodstream. And I think that’s why, in our case, we’ve found a dog-friendly office is a stress-free office.
Carlene Jackson, CEO of Cloud9 Insight,
Dogs have been found to have a profound effect on wellbeing. A survey found 84 percent of post-traumatic stress disorder patients, when paired with a service dog, reported a significant reduction in symptoms, and 40 percent were able to decrease their medications.
As a result of Carlene’s realisation, the Cloud9 office and its staff are welcome to bring their dogs to work, with there already being office Labradors and Jack Russells, as well as Carlene’s two fluffy Samoyeds, Shaska and Bear, all of whom have found a welcome home within the team. Another favourite is Dolly the poodle, whose owner Sam, generously shares Dolly with the rest of the office. Sam comments:
Bringing Dolly to work keeps me calm, as I always have a familiar face that I can rely on to pick me up. I love seeing her make new friends in the office, too.
Sam, Cloud9 Insight employee
The Cloud9 office is in a building with a number of healthcare providers, including breast cancer clinics. When Carlene realised what a great impact the dogs were having on the team’s mood, she decided to extend this initiative even further by offering the office dogs to some of the patients in the clinics below. Carlene continues:
I know that my dogs have an amazing impact on my mood, and I felt that patients who are in clinics for treatment might also benefit from seeing a friendly fluffy face.
Dolly and friends have all been offered to the patients there, as a way of keeping them positive at a time when they need some emotional support. Since introducing the initiative, Carlene has witnessed real improvements in employee morale, stress levels and productivity.
I feel that having dogs in the office gives our employees a positive boost when they need it. We all know our productivity levels fluctuate throughout the day, so having five minutes with a fluffy companion can help break up our workday and give us time to let our creative thinking flow.
To have a look at Cloud9 Insight’s office dogs in action, click here.
Joanne is the editor for Workplace Wellbeing Professional and has a keen interest in promoting the safety and wellbeing of the global workforce. After earning a bachelor's degree in English literature and media studies, she taught English in China and Vietnam for two years. Before joining Work Well Pro, Joanne worked as a marketing coordinator for luxury property, where her responsibilities included blog writing, photography, and video creation.