5 Tips for Working Remotely With Pets

Published: February 14, 2024
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Remote work continues growing in popularity, with many employers offering opportunities. Working remotely is a wonderful privilege, but it takes discipline and focus to make it work. Remote workers must learn to eliminate or manage distractions and prioritize their profession.

Pets are excellent companions, but they do not understand the importance of work. It is common for animals to barge in on virtual meetings or distract owners trying to get their attention. During those distractions, mistakes can happen.

If you want to avoid common interruptions and distractions from your pets, you need to focus on training them. Pets can learn when it is appropriate to play and distract. There are at least five tips for working remotely when you have pets.

1. Develop a Routine

You would think that an easy way to eliminate any distractions from a pet would be to lock them out of your office space. Unfortunately, closing a door rarely works because animals will bark, meow, scratch, and do other things to get your attention. Instead of locking your pet out, consider teaching them your work routine.

Routines are about habits, and animals thrive on habit and predictability. To reduce distractions from your pet, develop a routine that is repeatable and easy to follow. Start your morning routine by taking your dog outside to use the bathroom. Come back in and eat, both of you. Go out for a walk with your dog to release morning energy. Finally, sit down to start work.

2. Create a Space for Them

Many people struggle when working from home because their pets want to be close to them, meaning they end up underfoot or on top of the computer keyboard. You can avoid the problem by providing your pets with a space just for them. For example, you can place a Pendelton Pet All Season Indoor/Outdoor Kuddler Dog Bed by the desk or under it for your dog, or you can install the FurHaven Skyscraper Playground Cat Tree - Floor to Ceiling for your cat.

If your animal has a more comfortable and designated space in your office for them to lie, they are likely to use it. That said, your pet may need some training to learn that the new bed or condo is for them.

3. Bond During Breaks

All pets need bonding time with their owners. If you ignore your pets for too long, they demand attention. You can avoid interruptions when working remotely by bonding with your pets during breaks.

While showing affection and sitting with your pets is an excellent way to bond, spending your breaks playing with them is usually better. Play helps your pets burn off energy and stave off boredom, which means they can remain calm for the rest of your day.

You can use the KONG Shakers Honkers Dog Toy - Turkey to play with your dog. The toy is an excellent option for playing fetch or tug-of-war. For cats, try the KONG Teaser Purrsuit Cat Toy - Butterfly. The teaser toy allows you to get your cat running and climbing, an excellent way to burn energy.

4. Use Exercise as a Tool

Exercise is the best tool for eliminating or reducing unwanted behavior during your remote work day. When animals are tired, they rest, which is the ideal behavior during work hours. To ensure your pets burn their energy before and during your work day, focus on play and exercise before and during the day.

Take your dogs for a walk in the Pet Life Helios Wander Chest Compression Dog Harness and Leash before work, and play fetch with them during your lunch or afternoon break. Use teaser toys or laser pointers to get your cats running around and burning energy during the same time period. If you don't have time to play with your pets individually, give them toys to entertain themselves.

5. Encourage Good Behavior

Finally, encourage good behavior. Pets learn through repetition and praise. If your dog or cat is doing something you like, praise the behavior. For example, if you have a dog bed under or near your desk and your pet comes in and lays down calmly, show affection or give them a treat. You can do the same thing if your cat comes into the office, climbs its cat tree, and curls up.

The main idea is to praise the behavior without encouraging unacceptable behavior. For example, you don't want to give your dog so much praise that it gets overly excited and wants to play. By doing that, you ruin the peace you initially praised. Therefore, dish out praise that is equal to the action. Keep it calm and loving.

For example, if your dog comes into the office and goes directly to its bed, lean down, pet it on its head and give it a treat. The level of your excitement should not adversely affect the training exercise.

Working from home is a privilege, and more people are getting to experience it as employers provide more opportunities. Unfortunately, pets can become a distraction for remote workers, primarily if they are not used to the company during the day. By focusing on the above tips, you can ensure your pet is ready for the new routine and doesn't contribute to anxiety or stress during your workday. In fact, a well-behaved pet can reduce your stress and increase your happiness, and who doesn't want to be happy at work?

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