For your pets, the recent change-of-pace must seem pretty exciting. They don't realize you can't shower them with constant love and attention just because you're temporarily working from home.
Then again, how can you get anything done with those puppy-dog eyes looking up at you, or those little paws pitter-pattering across your keyboard?
Now, more than ever, you'll need to stick to a strict routine. It's the only way you'll balance being a doting stay-at-home pet parent and a productive remote worker.
How To Get Work Done At Home With Pets
It's hard to resist snuggling with your pets, even when you have a work assignment due, and "just ten minutes" of playtime can easily snowball into an hour. With good time management skills you can give your pets the attention they need while making sure your to-do list is cleared by the end of the day.
Try to keep your work schedule similar to your typical workday. Start by sorting out your tasks into time blocks in order of priority.
For example, if you're a morning person, you might start on your heaviest or most urgent task before lunch. During that time, you can offer your pet a dental chew, a yummy filled Kong, or an interactive toy so you can focus without distractions from them.
Take Meaningful Breaks With Your Pets
Splitting your workday into blocks allows you adequate time for serious focus without the risk of churning away for hours on autopilot, which can lead to exhaustion and silly mistakes.
Work blocks should be about 60-90 minutes long. Then, allow yourself about ten minutes to give your pet your undivided attention.
Ten minutes of petting and snuggling is all it takes to give you a drop in cortisol, the stress hormone, and a burst of oxytocin, the feel-good love hormone. Just what you need to defuse after yet another tough conference call.
Even Work-At-Home Pet Parents Need Help
If you're having trouble focusing with your pet around, consider having a family member or friend play with them for a while. Or, have your usual dog walker or pet sitter give you a break. Many professional pet sitters and dog walkers are losing business with so many of their clients staying home and could use the work.
Don't Forget To Wash Your Hands
Remember to wash your hands after handling, feeding, or playing with pets, and before cooking, eating, or touching your face, especially if you or someone in your home is sick. Keep in mind that, according to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) "The current spread of COVID-19 is a result of human to human transmission. To date, there is no evidence that companion animals can spread the disease."