With social distancing and other mitigation strategies in effect to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, many of us that would usually be working at an office are being forced to spend our days working from home. One result of these conditions is that many of us will now be getting work done alongside some new coworkers: our pets. For most of us, this change in colleagues will mean attending a conference call while scooping dry food or typing up emails while casually playing fetch. However, our new circumstantial workplace associates may have something to teach us about our current office space. Here are some tips on working at home that we can learn from our pets.
When working from home, it might be tempting to stay stationary for extended periods. Stretching is essential to preserving a range of motion in your joints and keeping muscles healthy and flexible. While it’s essential to stretch before working out or going for a run, stretching isn’t only done in preparation for an athletic feat. Take a page out of your cat or dog’s playbook: remember to stretch and stay limber, even if your day is leisurely.
For a lot of people, working remotely means getting most of their work done and communicating with coworkers via laptops and smartphones. Staring at screens for extended periods can strain your eyes and cause headaches. Take a break once in a while! Close your laptop, move around, get a snack or go ahead and give your dog a belly rub. Speaking of taking breaks…
One of the drawbacks of working at an office is that often its location may not be in an area conducive to walking. Studies show that taking breaks to go for a walk can lift your mood and combat lethargy and stale air makes you less productive. Nobody is more aware of this than our at-home coworkers, who are always trying to get our attention to go out for a walk. If you need a break, and the weather is suitable, go for a walk.
Be Kind to Your Cohabitants
Given the current circumstances and expectations, many people will be working at home for an extended period. With that in mind, it’s important to establish a good rapport with the people you live with. While you and your cohabitants might be comfortable and familiar with living in the same space, this might be the first time you’ve had to work in the same area as them. Talk out the ground rules and remember to be friendly.
Ask For What You Need
If your pet needs to be fed or given attention, it will let you know. Be sure to ask your company for the resources you need to get assignments done remotely. Seek out your company’s remote working policy and let them know if you need supplies, equipment, resources, etc.
Learn Some New Tricks
Some people who have been displaced from their offices and are teleworking for the foreseeable future may find that they aren’t able to do some of their usual tasks from home. Your dog isn’t the only one who can learn a new trick or two at home. There are many different online resources that provide training and educational services so you can brush up on something you haven’t looked at in a while or a new skill that could help you going forward.
This is a new situation that most people haven’t faced, so this sudden and significant change can be disconcerting. It’s critical not to get overwhelmed and panicked; staying positive and safe is vital in getting through the current circumstances. Our pets are great examples of knowing that as long as we’re together, everything will be alright.