Working from Home with Pets

A brown and white guinea pig is relaxing partially on a computer keyboard.Because of Covid-19, working from home has become more of a norm now. If you work from home, you probably know the benefits, such as having the kitchen at arm’s reach so that you don’t have to go out for lunch every day because you overslept. Another benefit of working from home is the ability to wear your pajamas throughout the workday without having to worry about looking presentable unless you have a meeting.

My personal favorite benefit is being able to be home with my pets. I call them my little coworkers simply because all my actual coworkers live all over the place and I don’t see them. I own two cats that have very different personalities, and they make me laugh during a difficult time. They are a lot like children. I can be working and be completely in the zone when one of my cats either jumps on my lap or pats my arm followed by a meow asking for food. One of my cats really likes to snuggle in my lap while I work and tries her hardest to make sure I can’t type with my left hand because she is insistent on resting her arm and head on my lap. It’s in those moments where working from home seems like paradise.

A German Shepherd dog lies on the floor, looking intently at an open laptop.Have you ever had a meeting and a child or pet decides to show up while you’re on a web camera? Thankfully, with all of the experiences I have had with my cats photobombing a video meeting, people at the meeting didn’t seem bothered by the cat that interrupted the meeting. When this happens, the people in the meeting usually laugh and comment on how cute they are.

Sometimes working from home with pets can be a little frustrating when they seem a bit needy and are distracting you while you work. I’m sharing some of my best tips for creating a productive place for you to work while keeping pets happy.

Feed pets first thing in the morning

Feeding your pets first thing in the morning helps you wake up without pet neediness. Take that time to make your coffee so you can start work on the right foot.

Open shades/windows so pets can look outside
Open your curtains or blinds enough so that your pets can look outside or take a nap on the window sill. This is one of the best tricks I’ve used. It helps keep them occupied while you’re working. Even better if you can open the window a little for them, depending on the weather, the window type, and any allergies you may have.
Keep your pet’s living space in a good place
Do you have dog beds, cat trees, or other spaces for your pets? If you place them on the opposite side of your room or house they may be in your face (sometimes literally) a bit less often.
Give pets toys that are relatively quiet

Your pets need toys that they can play with on their own while you are working, but ensure they aren’t too noisy. You don’t need your dog squeezing that loud squeaky toy while you are trying to focus. Put away noisy toys for after work.

Don’t eat at your desk if your pet is allowed there
You should never eat at your desk if you let your pets (mostly cats) on your desk. They will think your food is their food and they will not leave you alone.

A blue parakeet is standing next to a black and red computer mouse near a black keyboard.Most of the day, my cats sleep on the window sill being quiet and behaving while I perform my normal work day. They sometimes just need me to acknowledge them and know that I haven’t forgotten about them. For me, being able to be with my pets while I work is the best part of working from home.

Looking for a job where you can work from home with your pets? We are always looking for experienced and friendly instructional designers, technical writers, and project managers. Learn more about working at MATC on our About page.


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