By August 6, 2012 Read More →

Working at home, with pets

Working at home, with pets, by Alan WilliamsAlan Williams is a writer and environmentalist. He’s also a home worker and owner of two dogs, so he knows how to get the best from both and shares his experience here:

So you’re a home worker and you also own a cat, dog or other domestic pet, can these two lifestyles coexist? The answer is; yes, of course they can, but a little forward planning and some “ground rules” will make life easier. Unlike children you can’t distract a pet for a few moments by the television or games console, but they can be just as demanding. The trick is to try and use this to your advantage.

Here are some quick tips if you’re a home worker and pet owner:

1. Use a break from work for some pet time. If you’re a dog owner, go for a quick walk to get a break from the keyboard, you can always take your mobile phone with you. As everyone knows regular breaks are good for you, and often inspiration strikes when doing something completely different. If you’re a cat owner, time to get out that favourite toy and play. Garden pond – go feed the fish.

2. Depending on your pet, make sure that you can shut your home office door, or at least keep your pets away from your workspace. If your pet is happy to lie at your feet and sleep, no problem; but a demanding “play-with-me” or cat paws on the keyboard can be a recipe for disaster, and a big distraction.

3. If you entertain clients or customers in your home office, make sure you know whether they are okay with animals. Nothing worse than having a customer who’s terrified of dogs, being licked to death by “Fido” when you’re trying to cut a deal or a customer with allergies sneezing through your meeting.
If they’re not pet friendly or you don’t know, then arrange your meeting elsewhere or keep the pets and the customers in separate rooms.

4. If you’re a regular home worker then a routine will help your pet know what’s going on. For example if your dog knows he gets a walk at the start of the day, and then while you’re at your computer it’s time for sleep, you’ll get disturbed far less.

5. Finally if you’re not already a home-working pet owner, but are thinking about becoming one, then do your research and find the pet that’s right for you.

Alan will be back soon to introduce his dogs Sparky and Wilson. You can also read more about Alan’s dogs, books and his crime fiction on his blog

Posted in: Pets

2 Comments on "Working at home, with pets"

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  1. Sharon says:

    My cats like to sit on the desk next to me, unfortunately where I usually keep my notepad and graphics tablet. I ended up moving them, it was easier than trying to train a cat 🙂