How to make working from home with a dog a success
It’s International Dog Day, so what better time to introduce you to my six month old Romanian rescue pup Nala, who’s been with our family for a few weeks, bringing a whole new meaning to ‘distraction’ when working from home.
Maybe, like me and many people who’ve introduced a dog to their homes during lockdown, moving to remote working or working from home with a four-legged friend means a whole new routine.
It sounds idyllic doesn’t it, working from home, typing away at the laptop with a dog snuggled by your feet? Yes, however when I first attempted working with this lovely bundle of fun by my side I started to see the cracks and soon realised not only did I need a new routine, but she needs to fit into it. Quite a challenge when she’s in training and still has her invisible umbilical cord attached to me.
The team here at Progressive Travel Recruitment has rescued a number of dogs (currently five) from Romania, Cyprus and the UK over the past couple of years, so I took some advice from my colleagues James and Tony, as they have three lovely dogs, Angus, Hamish and Doris.
To work well at home, you need great time management and structure. This works well with a pooch if you’re disciplined and not tempted to give them too much attention; when you’ve fallen in love and give in easily, not so.
Follow these top tips James and Tony gave me and you’ll win the puppy vs. work emotional tug of war.
Set specific outdoor times for you and your dog. This is great for their health and wellbeing, and yours.
If your pooch is prone to barking when the phone rings or the courier delivers, a quiet space away from the dog is essential.
Stroking and whining
Stroking your dog when working is not the best idea; they’ll think they can have your attention at any time. The same applies to whining if they’re outside of your work area. Be disciplined. It won’t take long for them to get the message that it’s your workspace. Keep putting them back in their area with a firm ‘stay’.
Dogs get bored. I’m sure when you worked in the office, you left your pooch with toys or something to keep them entertained. They’ll always need some form of distraction so an array of play things are great for them.
None of this means you shouldn’t give your pet an extra bit of love and affection. Occasionally, step back from your desk, have a stretch and a cuddle; it helps our minds and gives them some lovely extra little attention treats.
I’d love to hear your working from home stories, so add your comments here and tell us how you manage, or connect with me on LinkedIn.