Do you have a pet who is also your work buddy? Sometimes working from home can feel a bit isolated, which is why many of us include our animals in our home office. In my own household my main co-worker is a senior Bugg named, Molly. You can check out her fun Instagram photos at @Mollythebugg.
Being able to have a flexible schedule allows me to include my dog in many of my day to day activities including taking a break to walk outside and quick errands to the store. She usually stays right by my side and sleeps most of the day, which allows me to focus on my work. A younger pet could pose more of a challenge as they need more attention and exercise.
According to an article on FlexJobs there are approximately 20 million people who work from home with 63 percent of American households owning a pet. No wonder the pet product market is so big!
If you’re going to bring your dog or cat into your work space you will need to have some ground rules in place including a regular routine of breaks that include play time or walking in order to satisfy their need to be with you. A cat tree with some fun toys is a good investment along with lots of treats and dog toys.
Here’s how your work life can benefit from including your pet(s):
1 – They are great listeners
We all have those challenging days and moments where we just need to vent. Our pets are great for listening to what we have to say and always have a smile on their face and love for you no matter what. You can tell them anything and they are just there to listen. It’s like having your own personal psychologist and support agent all wrapped up in one cozy, fury package.
2 – A pet help breaks the monotony
Have you ever worked on a project so long that you started to lose creativity and steam? Our fur children help us to get our focus back by stepping into our laps, playing a few tosses of ball, or allowing us to give them a scratch or belly rub. A little bonding time can help you get back on track and finish your day.
3 – Impress your clients and social media connections
A dog or cat allows us to display a more personalized side to our business, especially with those who are also pet lovers. This can be an ice breaker for a new relationship as you find a common ground through animals. I go beyond just the dog in my sharing — I also have reptiles and a cat who make appearances on my Instagram account.
4 – Nap time creates a relaxing atmosphere
Working near a sleeping cat or dog tends to help you feel calm, relaxed and reduces stress. They know how to do this well and we can learn a lot from their snoozing habits. You may even feel inclined to lay your head down for a few each day and join in on the restful break.
5 – Better focus and productivity
A pet adds to not only to our social skills and relaxation time, but they also can help boost our creativity, which causes us to be more productive. I’ve even bounced off a few ideas on Molly — not that she can answer me or anything. But just saying it out loud and going through the different scenarios with her actually helps me gain a better focus.
6 – They lower your blood pressure
That’s right! According to an article on NBC News researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia found that our blood pressure actually drops after petting our dog for 10 to 30 minutes a day. And that’s good news for heart health not to mention we are providing our pets with the attention they deserve. I call that a win-win situation, don’t you?
If you are thinking about bringing your pet into your home office be sure to plan ahead of time for any needs they might have and to ensure any team members or clients who meet with you do not have allergies. Adding a dog or cat (or any creature for that matter) is one of the most gratifying things that can be included in your work day. Not only do they get to spend more time with you, but you also benefit mentally and physically.
Do you have a pet in your home office? I would love to see them! Add your Instagram account in the comments below so that we can connect and share photos :-).
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