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Initially implemented on a large scale due to the pandemic, remote work is here to stay for good due to its myriad of benefits. For remote workers, it provides better work-life balance and the ability to live somewhere with a lower cost of living. For companies, on the other hand, it increases productivity by about 40 percent and decreases employee turnover by around 12 percent.1
Overall, as remote work becomes a part of the new normal, it may take some time for us all to adjust, especially if we have pets at home. How do you work from home with pets? How do you deal with pets interrupting work from home?
In this article, we will take a look at some statistics about working from home with pets and examine both its benefits and drawbacks. Additionally, we will give you some tips and tricks on how to work from home with pets. Read on to learn more.
- Working From Home With Pets: Statistics
- Benefits Of Working From Home With Pets
- Drawbacks Of Working From Home With Pets
- How To Work From Home With Pets
- Final Notes
Working From Home With Pets: Statistics
For the most part, working from home is a phenomenon that started during the pandemic due to necessity. Unable to safely access the outside world and interact with friends and family, during this time, we saw the adoption of pets soar. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, more than 23 million American households, or around 1 in 5 households nationwide, adopted a pet during the pandemic.2
Social distancing came with immense stress, but our pets kept us sane and we have learned to truly appreciate their companionship. Being able to spend as much time with them as we want has also changed our view of work.
In a survey of 1,000 remote workers, 75 percent stated that they want to continue working from home due to their pets.3 A study conducted by Veterinarians.org gives further insight into why this is the case, with 88 percent of pet parents who worked remotely during the pandemic saying that their dog’s companionship helped them be more productive and 87% saying it helped them cope with work-related stress.4
In the next section, let’s take a closer look at the benefits of working from home with pets.
Benefits Of Working From Home With Pets
The human-animal bond has long been a topic of discussion. In general, it represents the mutually beneficial relationship between pets and their owners — a relationship that is beneficial to the health and well-being of both parties.5
The human-animal bond truly shines when working from home with pets. In fact, working from home provides a range of benefits for both you and your pet, including:
- Improves feelings of isolation: Working from home alone can make you feel like you are entirely cut off from the world, even if you have group messages and Zoom meetings. On the flip side, if you have a pet, leaving them at home for long periods of time as you go into the office can cause them to be lonely and bored as well. Working from home with pets, even with pets interrupting work from home from time to time, gives you a sense of belonging. Always by your side, your pet can also be a good coworker.
- Reduces your mental load: Work can be stressful, whether you have tough clients to deal with or tight deadlines to meet. Having your pet by your side can help you take your mind off of hardship. Their presence also reminds you to take breaks rather than being fully consumed by your work. Pets interrupting work from home can be good on occasion, especially if seeing their cute faces can help you take the edge off and refocus.
- Enhances your work performance: Pet-friendly workplaces have increased morale and productivity.6 The same can be said for working from home with pets. No matter if your pet is running around in the background or just lounging by your feet, their presence can be very motivating.
- Helps you and your pet stay active: If you have to commute to the office every day, you might not have as much time to play with your pet or take them on walks. The time you save on traveling is perfect for a stroll in the park or some fetch around the house.
- More availability for vet visits and grooming sessions: Working in an office away from home can make scheduling vet visits and grooming sessions difficult. Working from home with pets allows you to take some time off to get these necessary errands done. If your pet falls suddenly ill, you can watch over them at all times instead of worrying about them during the work hours.
- Spending quality time together: Working from home with pets makes it easier for you to spend quality time together. Other than exercising and feeding them more snacks throughout the day, you can make sure they get the enrichment they need to thrive. Putting on pet TV for them, setting up a puzzle feeder, and brushing them during breaks are great ways to start.
Drawbacks Of Working From Home With Pets
Of course, there can be some drawbacks of working from home with pets as well. However, this is not a guarantee and mostly depends on your perception. Working from home pets may cause you to be:
- More distracted: Pets interrupting work from home by pawing at your desk and begging for attention can disrupt your train of thought on a project you just got started on. Worse yet, excessive barking and meowing can make taking Zoom calls very chaotic. In some cases, you may not be able to hear what the other person is saying at all. You may even come off as unprofessional. How can you combat this issue?
- More stressed: Your pet running around the house can create more stress. Are they getting into trouble? Are they chewing on something they shouldn’t be? Should you be checking in on them?
Luckily, if you are constantly worried about whether your pet is causing trouble around the house as you work from home, there are steps you can take to make sure your pet is happy and you stay productive.
How To Work From Home With Pets
Feed Your Pet Before Work
If you don’t want pets interrupting work from home, make sure to feed them before you start your work day. Overall, create a routine for your pet so they have a general idea of when they can expect food and attention and when you need to focus.
Spend Quality Time With Your Pet Before Work
The same goes for spending quality time with your pet before work. Walk your dog or play with your cat before work so they feel at least somewhat satisfied. This way, you can focus on your work for a good chunk of time before taking a break to hang out with them again. Set expectations and always reward them for good behavior.
Give Your Pet A Dedicated Space Away From Your Office
If you find your pet a bit disruptive, running around in your office or knocking down items on your desk for your attention, set up a space away from your office that’s especially for them. For example, for a cat that loves watching nature, install a cat bed that mounts on your window in addition to a bird feeder in your yard. Your cat will be so busy keeping track of different birds that they won’t have time to visit you in your office.
Take Breaks To Interact With Your Pet
Taking breaks from time to time to interact with your pet while working from home can help you stay productive. Stretching your legs and giving your pet some attention can help you stay active and keep them happy and entertained.
Keep Your Pet Occupied During Meetings
If you are especially concerned with your pet making noise during online meetings, make sure you keep them occupied. For instance, give your dog something to chew on. However, it is more important to train your pet and modify this behavior. If you need help with any dog or cat behavioral issues, set up a virtual vet appointment with Dutch. Speak with one of our licensed vets to get the treatment your pet needs and unlimited follow-ups.
Working from home with pets has many benefits. Not only does it have the potential to increase your productivity, but it can also keep both you and your pet happier and healthier.6 If you have more questions about working from home with pets, don’t hesitate to consult a Dutch vet.
Dutch provides affordable, customized telemedicine for pets with short wait times and free Rx delivery. From flea and tick treatments to cat anxiety and allergies, we care for a variety of pet health issues. Try Dutch today.
"5 Proven Benefits Of Remote Work For Companies." Forbes, 12 Feb. 2020, https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurelfarrer/2020/02/12/top-5-benefits-of-remote-work-for-companies/?sh=6fed410616c8.
"New ASPCA Survey Shows Overwhelming Majority of Dogs and Cats Acquired During the Pandemic Are Still in Their Homes." American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 26 May 2021, https://www.aspca.org/about-us/press-releases/new-aspca-survey-shows-overwhelming-majority-dogs-and-cats-acquired-during.
"The Real Reason Workers Want to Stay Remote: 75% Can’t Leave Their Pandemic Pets Behind." digital, 13 Apr. 2022, https://digital.com/75-percent-of-remote-workers-cant-leave-their-pandemic-pets-behind/.
"Why 67% of Pet Parents Prefer to Work From Home." Veterinarians.org, 29 Nov. 2022, https://www.veterinarians.org/work-from-home/.
"Human-animal bond." American Veterinary Medical Association, https://www.avma.org/one-health/human-animal-bond.
"Workplace Wellness Mental Health." Human Animal Bond Research Institute, https://habri.org/research/mental-health/workplace-wellness/.