2020 has been a year when we all come face to face with the realities of working from home. In many cases, the experience has been a positive one. It’s lowered transport costs, made the working day more flexible, and allowed us to get on with the job without a line manager breathing down our necks.
On the other hand, there have also been unmistakable downsides to working from home. Among the worst of these has been the distraction that comes with having the household pet in close quarters at all hours of the day. Dogs bark when you’re halfway through a Zoom conference; cats brazenly walk across your keyboard when you’re midway through writing an important document.
So how do we manage this problem, and create a home working environment that accounts for the family pet? Courier specialists Parcel2Go have explored the topic – but what other solutions are on offer?
Being able to stay calm is a key skill for pets, even if you’re not sharing an office space with them. Overexcitement is at the route of a whole range of bad behaviours, from noisiness to destructiveness. Creating a quiet space that’s reserved for your pet will give them the security of knowing that there’s a place to retreat to when things get overwhelming. It may be that your pet likes to spend time in your company, in which case you might provide them with a comfortable bed somewhere near to where you’re going to be working.
Wear them Out
While cats can be relied on to exercise on their own terms, dogs will need to be taken out for daily walks. This will keep both them and you in good shape. But perhaps as importantly, it’ll wear them out to the point where they won’t want to be overexuberant around the house.
Get some Toys
If your pet has access to a range of toys, then they won’t seek distraction elsewhere. Chew toys for dogs and scratching posts for cats are extremely useful, as they’ll prevent the animal from digging their teeth and claws into your valuable leather upholstery. This danger, needless to say, can be extremely distracting when you’re trying to concentrate.
Prepare for Separation Anxiety
When you set limits for your pet, then you’ll probably come across some resistance. They may whine and cry – but don’t give in, or you’ll just encourage more of the same behaviour. Put together a rigid routine so that you reliably emerge from the office for lunch at a fixed hour every day – that way you’ll provide the reassurance that you’re not going to be staring at your laptop screen indefinitely.
Household pets can provide companionship, which during times of isolation, can be extremely valuable. By managing them properly, we’ll get the best of this upside without the downsides that come with pet ownership.