Trust me, nobody loves your ‘work from home’ job more than your pet. Despite being surrounded by all your loveable pooches, work is work no matter where your office is. You know that, your boss knows that, but guess what? Your dogs have a different scenario in mind and the majority of their plan involves play time. I mean, why else would you be at home?
Before you break the gangs’ hearts and send them to the dog hotel for the day or call up the pet sitter, read these tips on how to work with your dogs and make them your best co-workers.
1. Differentiate Between ‘Crunch Time’ and ‘Break Time’
Make a habit of taking your dogs on a long morning walk before you begin your work day. This will provide the exercise, stimulation, and bonding experience they need to take them right into a happy nap or quiet time while you attack the pile of emails waiting for you come 9am. For the same reasons, opt for a game of fetch during lunch time to help cruise into the latter part of your day. Your pups will soon learn play time is only when it is most convenient for you. Make sure to have dog toys or other stimulating activities available during “quiet time” so they can entertain themselves while you work.
2. Schedule Your Day Wisely
You certainly should not plan your day around your dogs but if they get excited every time the mailman comes, do not schedule any calls during that part of the day. Be respectful of other’s valuable time and eliminate as many nuances as possible. You may not mind the sound of dogs barking in the background but many people may find it distracting and unprofessional.
3. Have A Dog Free Zone
One of the biggest benefits of working from home is the ability to work in any Wi-Fi accessible space in your house. As comfortable as these areas may be, they are an open invitation to your dogs to hang out with you. While this is great, make sure there is an accessible space with a door you can go to for important calls, video meetings, or just an area for when you need to dedicate 120% of your attention on a task at hand.
4. Take Tiny Breaks
Instead of two 15 minutes breaks throughout the day, take several smaller ones. These will allow you to let your dogs out and an even better opportunity for you to get some fresh air, clear your mind, and come back refreshed. The best ideas and creativity flows when you relax and allow your brain time to let information settle in and “click” while you roll out one of your infamous belly rubs. Your dogs will thank you and your brain will reward you.
5. Enjoy Them!
Working from home can get lonely, but it doesn’t have to be. Your dogs will soon become your favorite office mates as you spend your days celebrating the highs and venting about the lows. During slow or routine parts of your day, let them hang out with you. Give them treats every now and then and scratches never go unnoticed.
Before you know it, your dogs will crave this structure and look forward to play time while simmering down during quiet time. They will play a vital role in boosting creativity and lowering stress levels so take advantage of your ability to work from home alongside your best furry friends.
Jen Huynh, Artisan Creative Recruiter and Dog Lover