Prior to the pandemic, working remotely used to be synonymous with freelancing. Today, the term is working from home and it affects many white collar workers and some blue collar workers. Many of them are dog owners who find themselves working with their pups nearby – whether next to them on their couch, chair, or by their feet. You can say that they have four-legged friends as coworkers.
Working from home has allowed many owners to spend more time with their canines which includes taking their dogs out for fun dairy snacks during their lunch break. As a result, they are less stressed with better and improved mental and physical health. However, one thing is true when you’re working from home: having your pooch close by may cause distraction and even interfere with your work productivity.
Below, we will discuss 5 easy tips that will improve your productivity (especially when you have a deadline coming up) and keep your canine friends happy and healthy.
1. Walk Your Pooch Before You Start Working
Before you reach for your laptop or computer to start working, take your furry friend out for a walk. Walking benefits both the owner and the dog.
First, your pup will get his daily morning exercise and it helps to expend his energy. Active dogs with build-up energy will get anxious and act out due to their excessive energy. Walking will help to improve his mental, emotional, and physical health.
Second, walking is a great bonding time between the owner and the pup.
The walk does not have to be long. It could be around the block or a short distance throughout your neighborhood. This is the time for your canine companion to exercise his five senses and ofcourse go potty.
Having your dog do his business during the morning walk is crucial. This way, you won’t be interrupted later during your productive work hours by having to walk him outside to go potty.
By the time you both arrive home, your pup will definitely want to lay around and lounge to catch their breath while you start your work day. Believe it or not, your furry friend is happy and a happy dog is a calm dog, which is what you need when you’re working from home.
2. Set Up a Comfortable Space for Your Pup During Your Work Day
It is best to set up a comfortable play space for your pooch while you are working. This play space should be a few feet apart from your work space. If you prefer to have your pup near you, but don’t want to get distracted, set up his play space behind you. This way, he’s not in your field of vision while you are working while still keeping him close by.
You can set up a comfortable cushy crate or use a dog gate to separate their space or designate their space to a specific room in your home.
Since you want to encourage your pup to associate the space as a nice comfortable space, it’s best to place several toys and food puzzle feeders around their space. This way, your pup can stay occupied with the toys or food puzzle feeders and have a comfortable space to nap or sleep throughout the day while you work.
3. Schedule 30-Minute Playtime Every Few Hours to Play With Your Canine
The work day is an eight hour day and that does not mean you need to be separated from your pooch for the full eight hours. Instead, schedule 30 minutes every few hours throughout the day to hang out and play with your furry friends.
Make sure this 30 minute playtime with your pup does not interfere with any of your scheduled zoom meetings or phone calls.
The playtime allows your dog to know that you are still there for him so he does not resort to bad behaviors like acting out to try to get your attention.
This way, it’s a win-win because you’ll have the time to stay focused on your work for a certain number of hours and then have a break to pause and refresh your mind.
Taking breaks in between your work helps improve your mood and performance and ultimately boost your ability to pay attention and concentrate when you get back to your work again.
4. Give Your Dog Their Favorite Toy or Treat While You’re on a Zoom Meeting or Call
While you’re on your zoom meetings or phone calls, make sure your pup stays occupied with his favorite toy such as a bone to chew on or a frozen treat.
Dogs that accidentally show up in your background can be a distraction to the meeting. Instead, if you would like to show off your pup or a fellow coworker asks to say hi to him, then it’s best to wait until the zoom meeting is almost over to do so.
5. Ignore Your Pup’s Demand for Attention
Many dogs will try to get your attention seeing that you are home with them. In the pre-pandemic world, they associate you being home as being available to play with them and attend to them.
Like many of us who are adjusting to the post-pandemic world of working from home, it takes time to get used to. The same can be said for dogs. They are learning that although you’re at home, you will be busy.
Initially, your pooch may not know so he may try to get your attention by pawing at you, barking, nudging his head into you, or even whining. When this happens, ignore your pup. Your pooch will learn that this behavior won’t get your attention.
When they start being quiet and calm, reward them with a treat. This will let them know that this is how they should behave and act during your work hours.