As more pet parents are finding themselves working from home, they’re enjoying the perks of having their furkid as their new co-worker. Yet, with all the (adorable) pros come some potential cons. To help ensure your workday remains productive, here are some tips to help navigate.
Invariably, your pet will be so happy you’re home that he will demand your attention. To help keep him from whining, pawing or nudging you while you’re trying to work, you need to be a bit proactive. Poop your pup out by starting your workday with a longer walk or a morning game of fetch or tug-o-war. If that’s not enough or not your pet's thing, keep him busy with interactive toys like a Kong or lick pad. Another thing that helps is letting your pup go out to go potty whenever you take your own bathroom breaks (or vice versa). If your pet normally does not hang out in your newly designated home office area, he will now because that’s where you will be! Be sure to put his pet bed and some (non-squeaky) toys in there so he is less likely to distract you from your work.
Keep a Normal Routine
It’s important for both you and your pet to maintain a normal routine. Pets are creatures of habit - they love (and need) regular routines. When their routines are disrupted, many become out of sorts and anxious ... just like most humans! Plus, if working from home is new to you, it’s essential that you get into a groove to ensure maximum productivity. This means (for both of you) getting up at the same time every day, followed by a morning ritual that should include some activity with your pet. And of course, be at your desk at the same time - ready to work.
Resist the Urge
If you’re getting the stare down - resist the urge! You know what I’m talking about … it doesn’t take much to look into those puppy dog eyes and melt. Next thing you know, you’re curled up on the floor with your pet giving him a belly rub and smothering him with kisses. Save the PDA for breaks. Lunch time is perfect for carving out some time to give your pet some extra loving and ideal for a little walk or playtime.
Have a Plan for Sir Bark-a-Lot
Working from home typically includes phone calls and Zoom/Skype meetings. If your pooch is the chatty type, there are some things you can do. Depending on who your meeting is with, the nature of the call, and the “vibe” of your company, you can introduce Sir Bark-a-Lot to your co-workers/clients at the beginning of the meeting. This way, you will be more relaxed and meeting attendees will have a head’s up. If that is not a good option for you, you can put your pet in another room while you take your meeting.
Ways to mitigate barking (and a raucous) include putting the kibosh on the doorbell. If you’re expecting deliveries, put a sign on your front door to the effect: “Please DO NOT ring doorbell or knock. Please leave package on porch.” Another way to quiet your “Chatty Charlie” is to provide him with an interactive toy to keep him busy while you’re in your meeting.
Enjoy your time working from home with the best co-workers ever!