As the years go by, more and more people are working from home, whether full-time or simply a few days a week. And while it's great to not get stuck in traffic or have to pack yourself a lunch, the big challenge people can face when working from home is remaining productive.
It can be hard to stay productive when working from home given all the potential distractions. One of the biggest distractions is four-legged family members. Pets can take a big toll on productivity as it's tempting to spend all day playing with them instead of working.
However, there are a few things you can do to make sure your dog or cat doesn't feel neglected while still being able to get your work done.
1. Provide Plenty of Stimulation. First, it's important to make sure your pets have plenty of opportunities for physical and mental stimulation throughout the day. This means providing them with toys, food, puzzles, and other forms of stimulation. If your pets are bored, they're going to be more likely to bother you for attention.
For dogs, you'll want to make sure you take them out for a good walk before you sit down to start your workday. Obviously, this is important for them to be able to do their business, but it’s also important for keeping their energy levels in check. If they don’t get any exercise, they're more likely to get into trouble or interrupt you while you're working in hopes of getting attention.
Cats are lower maintenance when it comes to needing to provide them with stimulation. Of course, they'd love some attention as well, but they generally aren't as demanding about it as dogs. As long as they have a cat tree or a comfortable place to lounge with access to some toys, they'll be happy throughout the day.
2. Grab a Few Helpful Gadgets. One of the beautiful things about living in the 21st century is all the helpful gadgets and tools available to us. Many of these can help keep your pets cared for and their messes minimized while you focus on your work.
There are things like electric dog doors, robot vacuums, automatic pet feeders, and automated toys to name a few.
Electric dog doors help make sure your dog can go out whenever it needs to do its business or if it wants to sniff around in your backyard without needing your help. By simply walking to the door, it unlocks allowing your dog out. This can also work for cats if you allow your cat outside.
Robot vacuums are great for keeping the floors of your home relatively clean throughout the week. Whether your pet accidently knocked something over or it's just collecting fur that’s been shed, robot vacuums can help keep your home clean until you have more time to do a thorough cleaning.
This way you won't feel pressured to clean up during the week which helps you stay focused. As the saying goes, a cluttered space creates a cluttered mind!
Automatic pet feeders are also great as they dispense food at specific times each day. This way you don't need to worry about refilling food bowls throughout the day and can know your pet won’t go too long without food.
And lastly, there’s a wide variety of automated, interactive toys that can help keep your pet entertained throughout the day.
3. Establish a Good Routine. Just like humans, pets thrive on routine. So, it's important when working from home to establish a good daily routine for your pet. This means sticking to regular mealtimes, potty breaks, and play/cuddle sessions.
Sticking to a regular routine as much as possible will help minimize disruptions throughout the day and help your pet know what to expect. It will be as likely to bother you for attention because it’ll know it's not playtime yet or that you're busy working.
Of course, there will be days where things don't go as planned or you have to work late, and routines get thrown off. But if you can stick to it as much as possible, it'll make a big difference.
4. Remember, Breaks Are Good for Both of You. It's important to remember that you're not the only one who needs a break. Just like you need a break from work, your pet also would like a break from being alone. So, it's a good idea to schedule some time each day to spend with your dog or cat.
Whether it's on a lunch break or during a time of the day when you need a little pick-me-up. This can be something as simple as going for a walk together or cuddling on the couch for a bit.
While it's important to focus on getting as much work done as you can, a break can actually help with that. A brief break helps clear your mind and allows you to come back to problems with a fresh perspective.
5. Give Your Pet a Comfortable Place to Relax. One of the best ways to help your pet relax and feel comfortable while you're working is to give it its own space. This can be something as simple as setting up a bed or cat tree near your office or making a cozy spot on the couch.
You want to make sure there’s a place where your pet will be happy to spend time during the day. It shouldn’t be too close to where you're working as that can be disruptive, but also shouldn’t be too far away that your pet feels isolated. This should help keep your pet content during the day while you work, limiting the time it bugs you for attention.
As working from home becomes more popular, it’s important for pet owners to know how to stay productive so they can keep their bosses happy as well as their pets.
Author Bio: Alec Littlejohn is the lead editor at Pawscessories. He grew up in a family of veterinarians, is a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, and is a recognized author by the Dog Writers Association of America.