Working remotely has opened up many new doors for pet owners. What’s better for your four-legged friend than being with their favourite person 24/7? But for many, working from home with your dog can be a huge adjustment.
Pets need a lot of attention, so in theory it’s a fantastic thing to be there for them more than you would have been in the office. However, in most cases, work also requires a lot of attention – so sometimes juggling both can be a little difficult.
This is especially true if you’re adjusting to a new addition while working from home (even more so if it’s an excitable puppy!).
Luckily, we’ve got you covered! Here’s some tips and tricks to help you be just as productive at home, with your favourite furball, as you would be in the office.
Let’s take a look…
Set out your space
As with working from home without pets, you should have a designated workspace while working remotely. This helps your dog understand more clearly if that space is out of bounds for some reason.
If you need a little more than that though, you could also consider keeping your dogs within a specific section of the house. This may not be as necessary for day-to-day working conditions, but if you’ve got an important meeting, then it can be a good way to avoid any distractions and background noise.
If your dog isn’t used to being closed out or alone for a while, then you could have problems. But, if this is important for your own concentration, then you should try and ease them into this new routine. Eventually, they’ll understand, and you won’t be met with as much resistance.
When working from home with a dog, it’s important to ensure that they’re stimulated and for you, the owner, distracted.
If you’re lucky, then your dog may not need an awful lot to be stimulated. Perhaps they’re content playing with their toys or out in the garden without much supervision. If so, then that’s fantastic – they’ve solved this part of the puzzle for you.
However, a lot of dogs will be a little more restless – especially while you’re at home! They’ll want to play with you, ask for food or treats, or want to go on walkies! These are probably all things you can’t indulge too much during a day of work.
So, one way to combat this is by giving them something else to pay attention to. We suggest using a treat dispensing dog toy or “rewards ball” such as a Kong. They’re not just fantastic for pacing your dog’s treat indulgence – they’re also great for keeping them busy.
Add some organic dog treats – maybe some peanut butter too – and your dog will be occupied for a good while. Just make sure the treats you add can actually make their way out of the toy. We don’t want your pup getting frustrated with the toy.
This distraction method works especially well during long meetings where you can’t give them the attention you’d like. So, give it a try and let us know if it works!
If you’re working from home, it’s important that you be honest about your at-home situation. If you have children, dogs, or housemates – then let your colleagues, clients or attendees know. This will eliminate any awkward conversations you need to have about why there’s any barking in the background.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking this makes you look “unprofessional”. But truthfully, everyone has different living circumstances and they’re likely to be more understanding than you might think. They may also be in the same situation.
In the case of dogs, you’re likely to have people on the other end of your virtual meeting begging to see them, too. So, there’s really nothing to worry about.
Be mindful of the doors and windows
If you know you’ve got a reactive dog, then it might be a good idea to monitor the doors and windows. Barking at potential visitors is a natural reaction for dogs, so if this is likely to be disruptive, you should try and minimise it as much as possible.
You could consider keeping your dog away from the front door and windows. Perhaps you want to get rid of the doorbell or put a sign on the door explaining not to knock and ring. If it’s a permanent thing, then there’s some nice signs you can get online, so it’s worth looking into!
Enjoy their company
Now that you can work from home with your dog, you should embrace that extra time you get to spend with them. It may seem contradictory as you are supposed to be working… But work doesn’t need to be all work and no fun. Take 10 minutes every now and then to give them the attention they deserve.
Taking breaks while working from home is highly encouraged anyway. You should get up, stretch your legs, and take time for lunch or breakfast… Just add some time with your dog to the mix when you do these things.
You’ll appreciate the break a lot more when you finally get back to work.
If you’ve got a flexible work from home agreement, then adding an extra-long walk during your day can be super beneficial. In fact, it can also help tire your dog out a little – so your meetings can go on without a hitch.
Just remember, to your dog, you’re everything! So, make sure they get to enjoy the benefits of remote working, too!