As people increasingly adopt a remote work lifestyle, the amount of time spent at home is going up — which, for the majority of us, means spending more time with our beloved pets. And, although that sounds like tons of fun, working from home with pets can also have its pros and cons.
Especially if you’re a renter in a big city, it can be difficult to keep your pets occupied in a small space. Plus, rental apartments don’t always provide you with extra space for an office where you can shut a door and isolate yourself from the rest of your home. That’s why, sometimes, you just need to get creative and find innovative solutions.
The Funny Story
All of us have either experienced or seen someone’s pets showing up on video conferences; barking or meowing loudly; or simply minding their own business in the background. These instances make for a good laugh both with your co-workers at the time and then later on with friends. Plus, photographing your pets in your work set-up is also a source of funny pictures and a way to share a laugh with your friends and family.
The Relieved Anxiety
Under the current circumstances, some people may find it difficult to adapt to working from home because there are considerably fewer opportunities to interact with others than there are in an office environment. However, multiple studies have shown that pets can help reduce anxiety and stress. Specifically, a pet can help reduce feelings of loneliness and help people cope with the negative feelings caused by the pandemic.
No Separation Anxiety
Many pets — especially dogs — struggle with separation anxiety, and having their owners away from home for nine hours or more (depending on commute times) can be harmful for some. But, now that remote work is the norm, these pets are happier than ever having their humans home all day — and they sure show it! Nowadays, the internet is flooded with pictures of cute animals trying to “help” their people at work. From dogs supervising your work ethic to cats “correcting” your emails, these images are simply adorable.
Despite all of these lovely images and bonuses, sometimes it’s tough to focus on the task at hand when your cute pet keeps interrupting you. Also, while some pets are happier now that you’re home all day, they may also demand more of your attention.
Dealing with Bored Pets
Although your pet will likely be happy to have you around all day, they may be confused as to why you’re not spending all of that time with them. Consequently, they may build up tension and not know how to properly focus all of their energy. But, there are some things you can do to calm your pet so you can focus on your work, such as playing with them before starting the day.
For instance, if you have a dog, take them for a walk or run before you start your day. That could be just around the block or in your neighborhood, not necessarily to a park or in an area that is busier or closed during this time. Alternatively, if you need to stay indoors, play games with your dog or cat to help them consume some energy — there are many options, even if you have a small space.
For pets that don’t require walks, play with them early in the morning so they can use up their energy. For example, recreate the hunt for cats by playing with string toys or having them chase little bits of treats. We have lots of options in our Scollar Personalized Pet Marketplace.
Food puzzles also work well for pets because they’re more likely to be engaged when they smell the scent of food. Otherwise, any sort of physical activity will benefit both them and you. Similarly, whenever you feel like taking a break from your screen is the perfect moment to snuggle, pet and play with your fur babies. Plus, it will help you relax, as well.
Dealing with Distractions While Working
When you have to work — especially if you have meetings or deadlines — you want to make sure you have a few quiet, distraction-free hours to yourself. So, provide your pets with distractions during your conference or meeting. For your cats, something as simple as a cardboard box placed in a new area will stir their interest, especially if you hide some treats inside. For dogs, training them and providing mental stimulation before these much-needed hours will help them feel the need to rest and nap.
Some people have even discovered that getting your floof their own little computer makes them feel like they are part of your day.
Having pets is a wonderful experience and, now that we’re home with them more, we get to truly appreciate them for the moments they share with us. Although we’re living through challenging times, we’re navigating them together — and that helps make the whole journey more pleasant.
This is a guest post written by Mihaela Buzec with our friends at RENTCafe.com. Mihaela is a passionate reader and writer with an affinity for language and linguistics, as well as the latest technological developments.