Having your furkid as a co-worker can be an added bonus when you’re working from home. Working with your pet can be very therapeutic - helping you to better cope with the daily stressors. However, your pet + work doesn’t always equal harmony. Here are some tips on staying focused and productive while working alongside your new furry co-worker.
Plan for Distractions
Since you’re working from home, your pet will likely think you’re all his! From engaging in play to pawing, and whining...your pet will do his best to get your attention. Rest assured that even if your home office space is not a spot where your dog normally likes to hang out, he will be in there now that you’re in there! One way to temper his attempts to distract you is to tire him out before you start your workday. A long walk or run, an interactive game, or fetch in the backyard usually does the trick! Before you clock-in, be sure to have some entertaining toys in your workspace to keep him occupied (just make sure they don’t squeak).
Another tip is to let him go outside to take a bathroom break whenever you get up to take yours, or vice versa. Also, If you can work with your pet on your lap, great! Otherwise, be sure to place your pet’s bed in the room so he can nap.
Stay on Track With a Daily Routine
Pets need a regular routine to keep them even keeled. Like many humans, they can get anxious and behave irregularly if they’re not on their usual schedules. It’s very important to stick with a consistent routine, for your pet to be happy and for you to have the highest level of productivity. Make sure you both wake up at the same time each morning, and start the day with something interactive that includes your pet. When it’s time or you to report in for work, be sure to be at your desk and ready for the day ahead.
Maintain Your Willpower
Don’t look now but here come those puppy dog eyes! You know what I’m referring to - that look that says, “Pleeeeease pet me now!” If you’re not careful, you’ll be down on the floor in two seconds flat, snuggling up with your furkid. Although tempting, do your best to not succumb to giving those belly rubs! Save the extra love and affection, and perhaps a quick stroll or some playtime, for a designated time like your lunch break.
No Time for Chit Chat
When you’re on the phone, or participating in a video conference, the last thing you want is your “chatty” pet chiming in. If you have a pet that likes to “chit chat’, you can introduce him to your other co-workers and clients at the start of the meeting, to keep it light and let them know he may try to participate, too. If that option is not the best, given your particular circumstances, you can always move your pet to another room during your phone calls or meetings.
Other ways to cut down on your pet’s loud chatter include putting a halt to door knocking and the doorbell ringing. If you’re expecting packages, you can place a sign on the front door stating: “Please don’t knock or ring the doorbell - leave packages at the door.” Again, bring out the entertaining toys to keep your pet distracted, especially when you need quiet surroundings.
Be sure to enjoy your time working from home with your furkid, aka the best co-worker ever!
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