Working from home with pets

One of the best parts about working from home is that you get to spend more time with your furry friend – so how can you make the most of this time together?

Your Home
5 min read
A colleague might say ‘This is Max, he’s my rescue dog and doesn’t understand social distancing’. After a pause, a chorus of ‘Hi Max’ would follow forth from a video conference call. We’ve been told to adhere to strict social distancing – but do pets count?

As many of us have moved to working from home in 2020, pets all over Australia have been held up in front of laptops and addressed as ‘new colleagues’ with our co-workers all agreeing each other’s pets are adorable and want to see more of them during video meetings.

While we grapple with our changing landscape, having an animal at home can be lots of fun for you and your four-legged family members.

Despite our world being so different to a month ago, our furry friends have remained by our side, continuing to demand love & attention. While it may be a little strange for animals to have their humans at home all day, it’s a great chance to spend some time with them and interject a little fun into your day.

Together time

With all the additional pet and human together time, the RSPCA has put together a handy list to make sure we all get off on the right foot – or ‘paw’ as it says. Some of the call outs include:

  • Ensure your home set up is safe. Like humans, pets can trip over cords, so keep these out of the way wherever possible.
  • Cats love the warmth and could quickly gravitate to your laptop keyboard. If you step away, close your laptop. Otherwise, you might be faced with a cat getting cosy on your keyboard.
  • Watch the treats. This tip works for both humans and pets when spending more time at home! It’s very easy to gravitate to the pantry and grab a snack, and it’s just as easy for pets to sit by their food bowl and give you their best ‘ohh, but I want a snack too’ face. But try to resist their cuteness, to help them maintain their health.
  • Playing with pets is great for mental health which is a win for everyone right now – so make time during your breaks to find your pet’s favourite toy and have a play break.

Have some K9 fun

Anyone who has a dog knows they’re an endless source of fun and fascination. The Instagram account @dogsworkingfromhome has harnessed just that – capturing dogs in all manner of working from home positions. As stated in their Instagram bio, it’s ‘the pawfect 3 pm procrastination’.

Buzzfeed has also pulled together a collection of images of both dogs and cats hanging while the humans work from home. Or in the case of one cat, getting very worked up over an excel spreadsheet, and let’s face it, who hasn’t done that with a spreadsheet before.

Working from home with pets

Adopt or foster a pet

With the extra time at home, the ABC has reported there has been an increase in people looking to adopt or foster cats and dogs. The additional ‘human’ hours at home should allow for any four-legged friend to adjust to their new habitat. Though it’s also worth keeping in mind, at some point we will be leaving the house more and the animals need to get used to us not being at home.

There are some short-term pet adoption options available to those who might not be able to commit to being a long term pet owner, but still want to provide a loving temporary home.

Human stress-busters

Animals are great mates to have around the home and can also be human stress busters. According to a story on the Today website, petting animals is not only relaxing for them, but stroking them can release human endorphins and can reduce heart rates. Speaking in an upbeat tone or laughing with your animal can also help reduce your own blood pressure.

You could even think about introducing your pets to your co-workers via Zoom or Teams to lighten up the meetings. It can be a great way to stay connected with your officemates and keep the team spirit up.

Make the most of it

This is an unprecedented time and has completely changed our usual work and lifestyle routines, but the silver-lining for pet owners is definitely this extra time that we get to spend with our furry loved-ones. So make the most of it and enjoy hanging out with your best pet friend – you might miss the daily interaction when you’re back at the office!

*The links referred to in this article are suggestions for context only and AGL is not affiliated with the entities referred to in this piece.

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