Having a pet while working at home may be a challenge. Pets don’t know that your presence at home doesn’t mean you’re free to play with them. They could easily distract you trying to get your attention and love, which could seriously affect your productivity at work.
To make things easier for both of you, here is what you can do to keep your productivity up even with a pet around.
1. Get active together before work
In case you have a cat, it would be good to play with it before you start working. Cats are very active in the morning, so let your cat spend its energy playing with you.
In case you own a dog, get up a bit earlier, take your travel mug and go on a long walk with your dog. It will do both of you good to get active – physical activity releases stress, meaning your dog will be calmer later and won’t interrupt you during an important conference call.
2. Lower office sounds
Some pets are more nervous than others and may dislike specific office sounds. Try lowering your telephone sounds on low or switch your mobile phone to vibration. You don’t want your pet going crazy every time Skype starts ringing.
3. Get a hard keyboard cover
In case you have a cat, it probably likes jumping onto your keyboard from time to time. Not only can your cat inadvertently type a message to a colleague but its hairs can get stuck between the crevices of the keyboard, making it work improperly.
So, it’s important to cover the keyboard when you’re not working and teach your cat not to jump onto it.
4. Clear the floor area
The floor around your office desk and inside your home office should not be covered with wires or computer equipment, especially the area under the desk. It’s usually a favorite spot for a pet to lie down because it allows them to be close to you. Make the spot cozier for them by placing a chair mat there – it will also serve as a protection for the floor. Anything else in that area could easily get chewed on, so remove the small items and hide the wires.
5. Get a puzzle feeder
Instead of simply giving your dog breakfast in the bowl, make things interesting. Put their kibble into a puzzle feeder or even a food-dispensing toy. That could make your dog occupied for a while and even tired them out, which could give you some time to work without interruptions.
However, it’s important to avoid hard and hollow toys because they can be very loud if your dog throws them and distract you.
6. Get a separate area for work
If you have the option to have a home office, that would be great because then you could simply close your doors and be away as far as your pet is concerned. In the meantime, it won’t hurt to leave the TV or radio turned on for your pet so that they don’t feel lonely and bored. In case you have a dog that is constantly whining, then it means it’s trying to tell you something – don’t ignore it. Try and see how you can ease your dog’s anxiety.
7. Take breaks and be with your pet
You will get up at least every hour and leave your desk anyway, whether to brew the coffee or just to stretch. You can use those couple of minutes to play with your pet for a while – you don’t have to turn it into a 30-minute play. A couple of minutes of pure joy will benefit you both.
8. Have a pet door installed
If you don’t have it already, install a pet door so that your pet is free to go outside whenever they feel like it. That will keep them from getting bored and seeking your attention when you need to focus on your work. Plus, you don’t want your pet to suffer if it’s feeling nature’s call and it can’t get out because you are on an important conference call.
Your productivity at work doesn’t have to be compromised just because you have a pet and you’re working from home. A good organization will make everything easier for both you and your furry friend.