Many people with office jobs are now working from home. And there’s a chance you have one (or a few) four-legged co-workers. So, what do you need to know about successfully working from home with dogs and cats? The two biggest issues to consider when working from home with pets are the two biggest changes in your work life — your space and your schedule.
Are there benefits from working at home with pets?
The bright side is that technology makes working from home much easier and more accessible. But it can be a huge change for many people and their pets. To help with the transition, consider sharing photos of your new “co-workers” with your long-distance office mates. Meetings like this can help you feel less isolated and build rapport with your co-workers.
Try to appreciate the stress relief your animals can bring you during a hectic day, and don’t forget your pets may experience stress too. Taking the time to cuddle or go for a walk can be a benefit of working from home with pets.
Tips for working from home with dogs and cats
Make your space work for you and your pet
When working from home with pets, find a private, secluded place to set up your home office. Ideally, this space should have a door that can be closed to prevent distracting, four-legged visitors from interrupting. Rearranging living room or bedroom furniture to make a corner dedicated to working can help designate the space to help you feel like you’re not always working, as you can separate your “office” from your home. If you live in an apartment or a smaller space, learn tips for living in an apartment with pets.
Set a routine
When working from home with a dog, developing a new “normal” schedule is important. Generally, animals behave better when they know what to expect. Keep their exercise and feeding routines the same as much as possible. Try to start and end work at similar times as when you left and returned home from the office. Taking regular breaks to play with your dog or cat will help give your brain a break, which will do wonders for your mental health and productivity. Setting designated play times will also reinforce obedience in your pet.
You may need to incorporate exercise time depending on the type and breed of animal you have. Vary your walks to keep yourself and your dog from getting bored. Learn more tips for exercising your dog.
How to entertain a dog while working from home
Make sure they have plenty of toys and entertainment, so they don’t turn to destroy furniture. Reinforce good behavior (i.e., playing independently with their toys) with praise and treats. Remember, it may take time for them to adjust to this new situation, just like it’ll likely take you time to adjust as well!
Remember to have patience with your pet when working from home, be flexible, and treat yourself with grace and kindness.