How to Stay Productive while Working at Home with Pets

Like many people, you may find yourself working from home now for the first time as cities work to slow the spread of COVID-19. And if you’re a pet-owner, that means you might have some new furry coworkers you haven’t collaborated with before.

Here are 6 tips for making the most of this extra time together.

1. Enjoy the benefits! Yes, your cat may love sleeping on your computer keyboard. And your dog may bark during an important call. But you’re also getting the companionship and stress relief of having your pet with you all day long. Have fun with your new “best friend at work!”

2. Keep a schedule. Dogs thrive on structure, and your cats can secretly tell time. So, keep your day consistent and you can work toward everyone understanding when food, walks and playtimes will happen. Not that there won’t be some begging….but if you stick with a schedule, over time you can manage expectations.

3. Keep moving! Even though you’re probably spending much more time at home, exercise is good for everyone. Some active play at home for cats or a run around the block for dogs can help manage excess energy. Try to start the day with an activity and plan in some extra exercise before important calls. This can help encourage your dog or cat to nap while you need to focus.

4. Plan for distraction. A bored pet can resort to destructive behaviors to get your attention. Make sure your pets’ favorite toys are around to keep him or her occupied. Consider interactive toys that are designed to entertain pets and stimulate their minds.

5. Try training. Our friends at WISDOM HEALTH™ put together some great advice about working at home with dogs, including squeezing in five minutes a day of training. Check out their recommendations here.

6. Accept the surprises. There are always going to be unexpected interruptions, whether it’s a noise outside that sets off a bout of barking, or a sneaky cat tail that makes its way into the video conference. Whoever you’re meeting with is likely dealing with similar challenges, so try to laugh off the little things. Your colleagues probably will too!

cat sleeping on keyboard
Shutterstock/Ihor Korsunskyi

Enjoy your pets and the happiness they bring.

At Mars Petcare, we’ve long believed that pets “work” at work. In fact, we created a downloadable PETS WORK AT WORK™ toolkit to help businesses go pet-friendly.

Dogs and cats can relieve our stress, improve our morale and help us connect with other people – and it turns out they do this just as well at home as they do at the office.

Whether it’s a snuggly stress break, a walk around the block or laugh with your boss about the doggy in the (video conference) window, pets make the workday better.

So, be safe, stay well and enjoy your furry coworkers! They’re so thrilled to be spending the day with you.

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