Working From Home With Pets

Working from home can be a challenge if you have furry roommates. They may think it's time to play, or go outside, or want to spend time with you when you need to do other things. However, there are some easy steps you can take to ensure that you're able to work effectively at home while also spending time with your loved ones. 

1. Set a schedule with your dogs and cats

Our pets live by the clock whether we realize it or not. If you've been free feeding, playing, or going outside, now might be the time to set a schedule. A schedule with your pets allows you to plan your work meetings and deep work time around your pets' needs. It also gives you an excuse to stretch your legs. 

You should feed your pets before your work begins, and after your work ends. If you have dogs, you may want to plan to bring them outside in the morning, take a nice walk around lunch, and then once more before the end of your working hours.

2. Give them something to do

Both dogs and cats can be destructive when they're bored, so be sure to provide enrichment. After feeding, see if your cats want to play with a laser, wand toy, or something else energetic. Try to tire your cats out so that they take a snooze somewhere other than in your workspace. 

Dogs most often want to play when they've just come inside, so take a few minutes after you bring them in to set up a game or activity for them. Try puzzle toys, five minute games, or long-lasting chews to keep them occupied for hours.

3. Outsmart your cats

If you have cats that love the warmth of (a) your body or (b) your laptop, it can be a challenge to get anything done when they want attention. Let's be honest, shooing your cats away just makes them want your lap or laptop even more. So, what can you do? The answer is simple: outsmart your cat. 

If your cat won't leave you alone, see if you can create a better space for them to lay. Try an extra table, chair, or small box, laid right next to your workspace. Use catnip, a toy, or a soft blanket to lure them onto their new supervisory post. If that doesn't work, you can always try setting your laptop down and paying full attention to your cat. Even just five minutes of dedicated attention might scratch their itch and help them settle down. 

4. Have a sense of humor

At the end of the day, working at home with your pets is a blessing more often than a curse. Your coworkers will love watching your cat on your video conference call. And the behaviors you find annoying, your coworkers may find endearing. Don't get angry at your animals for being bored or wanting to spend time with you. Work around or with your dog or cat and you'll have the best experience possible.