Help me Adapt to Working from Home with my Dog
The number of people permanently working from home has risen dramatically. Many people are learning to adapt to working from home. Some of the advantages of working from home are a better work-life balance, less commute stress, and improved inclusivity. If you’re lucky enough to work from home, chances are that you don’t want to go back to the office.
Working from home does not come without its challenges though. Some find working from home difficult due to lack of interaction with colleagues and support. It can be difficult to stay focussed working from home alone. Others struggle with home technology and lack of technical help. It can also be hard to separate work and personal space and time.
For those of us who are pet parents, working from home can be harder than it seems and you may have to overcome several obstacles, your dog perhaps being one of them! Pets can indeed reduce stress levels, remind you to take breaks, and lead to increased morale, but a pet in the personal workspace may be more tricky than you think.
Some pets can get stressed when their routines change so you being at home may throw their balance at first. Make an effort to help your dog adjust to their new routine. You have to help them settle into your (and their) new work-from-home lifestyle. The following tips will help you stay focused and avoid distractions when working from home.
Start the day with a walk :
Undoubtedly the best way to start your day is with a walk. This relaxes and awakens the mind and the body, plus, your furry friend can expel some energy, which helps them rest while your work. Walking is also a wonderful bonding time for you and your dog. Walk your dogs usual length of walk and try not to plug in to devices while you are out. Be there with your dog and enjoy the moment. This makes for a calm and mindful start to the day.
The morning routine:
Try and stick to this morning routine, no matter how tired you are, avoiding spending your allocated walking time in bed- this can be hard on a drizzly Monday morning. Remember the benefits. Having a routine makes for a less stressful morning and a positive start to the day ahead. It also helps you to sustain a healthy diet, makes the skin look healthy, and enhances your productivity. You will have more time to focus on your work tasks, not to mention that you have more energy- that is a good feeling!
Make a den:
Your dog will be most peaceful if they are well exercised and feel safe and secure. Judge whether your dog suits roaming around the house or being with you while you work, or contained in their safe space or den. You may wish to close the blinds or curtain so that they are not disturbed by the outside world. It’s normal for dogs to bark at strangers passing by or little animals, like squirrels so consider the implications of them interrupting a conference call for example and choose their space wisely.
Busy you, busy dog :
If you want your dog to be peaceful while your work, find a way to keep them busy while you’re working. A bored, under stimulated dog will become destructive and unhappy which can result in damage to themselves or your home. They may also interrupt you while you are trying to work.
Manage your messages :
So, you have thought about making your dog happy for your working day and now its time to think about you. To stay on top of things, carefully manage how you respond to emails and messages. Plan to check your messages regularly, but build in some time that is free from message checking.
Challenges can occur, for example an urgent email requesting you to change the page order in a PDF file. Give yourself time and headspace to find solutions. Try not to check messages after working hours as much as you can to separate work and home life. Keep your work life separate from your personal life and stay motivated with a to-do list.
Aim for progress, not perfection:
It is better to strive for progress rather than perfection and celebrate the small victories of adapting to your working routine. Break down larger targets into smaller and more manageable goals. Achieving small goals will let you know that you’re making progress. Stick to your to-do-list and the workload won’t seem so overwhelming.
Most importantly, cultivate patience. Difficult problems sometimes solve themselves with patience. In the office, we often rush over to solve problems and waiting for responses can be frustrating. Patience, as well as ingenuity, is paramount when working from home. Keep well hydrated at your desk to maintain a clear head.
Remember that work can be done in a fluid and flexible way, so there’s no need to stare at the computer screen all day long. Take regular breaks to get a drink, go and say hello to your dog and to move your body. A lunch break for you and your dog will freshen you both up for the afternoon ahead.
Make time for play:
The last thing you want to do is to ignore your best friend so as previously mentioned, take breaks and make time for play. How much stimulation your four-legged friend will need depends on their age and usual interactive and activity levels. There are many sniffy games you can play with your dog to encourage interactive play. Active play keeps your dog healthy and improves their balance and coordination.
We hope that these tips have helped towards a positive working from home relationship for you and your dog. How did you adapt to working from home? Let us know in the comments below.