For those who don’t work from home, a quick picture comes to mind: waking up whenever you want, working from your pajamas, and essentially, living the dream. For those of us that do work from home, we know it is not that simple. Working from home comes with a slew of its own obstacles, and unfortunately, your dog can sometimes be one of them. Is being a pet parent getting in the way of your working from home? Check out our tips to keep your sanity and your paycheck.
Set Designated Play Times
One of the greatest challenges of working from home is time management. It is easy enough to get distracted from work while at home by yourself, let alone with a cute puppy begging for a play session. In order to keep your dog (or other distractions) from eating into your work day, set specific break times for you and your dog. Having this structured play time will not only help you get your work done, it will also help reinforce obedience with your dog.
Create A Separate Pup-Free Work Space
The best way to insure your dog is not going to put a kink in the flow of your work day is to keep them in a separate area. Yes, it is nice to be able to pet your pup while you are listening in on a conference call, but doing this tells your dog they can get your attention whenever THEY want. Setting up a separate work space is great not just for you and your dog, but also for your work life balance in general. Having a separate work space makes it feel like you aren’t actually living in your office.
Don’t Give In
If your dog is used to getting your attention at any time he or she wants, you may start to see signs of anxiety. If your dog starts whining, crying, or batting at the door when you have told him to stay out, do not cave and let them in. This will only tell your dog that HE is in charge and by crying he can be near you. Your dog is not the boss when you work from home, you are. Act like it.
Keep Them Occupied
If dogs are bored or anxious, it can lead to destructive behaviors like chewing or marking around the house. To avoid an interruption to your work flow like scolding your pup for chewed up shoes, make sure they have plenty of physical and mental stimulation for when you are hard at work. We have a lot of toys we are fond of over here at DogTime, why not check them out?
Progress NOT Perfection
None of us are perfect puppy parents, period. So if you find yourself playing with your pup for twenty minutes when you really should be reconciling this month’s budget, don’t beat yourself up about it. Time theft occurs in an office environment in the form of loitering near the water cooler and putzing around on social media. You are allowed your one “work vice” as well, and that can be your dog.
Freelancing or working from home means that every day is a different beast. Sometimes you are so swamped you are lucky to get a hastily thrown together sandwich down for lunch, other times you can find yourself reorganizing your bookshelf while waiting for your next assignment. This flux in schedule can make it difficult to keep all the “rules” for working from home with a dog as rigid as routine as you would like. Part of working from home (and owning a dog) is learning how to be flexible and roll with the punches.
Do you work from home with pets? How do you keep your pets happy while simultaneously getting everything checked off of your to-do list? Let us know your tips and tricks to a healthy work-pup balance in the comments!