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The last year has changed the way we used to live and work. Today, millions of people are working from home due to the travel restrictions enforced and due to health and safety reasons. Apparently, the individuals who own pets face the challenge of accomplishing their work assignments adhering to the deadlines while managing their pets and also other family members throughout the day. It sounded funny to see many social media posts showcasing pets helping their super-busy parents during their home quarantine periods, right from cats popping up on the keyboards and dogs displaying their frustration during an online meeting. Some of the people working from home are experienced in handling their pets, while many might be new pet parents.

Quarantine Paw-renting Rates Trending Up

Recent surveys and studies indicate that the rate of adoption of pets, like dogs, cats, and other animals, has increased from the last year. Before the pandemic, most working professionals spent long hours in their offices and had to travel almost daily. So, they were not able to spend quality time with their pets. Yet, as working remotely has become a new norm today, they spend more time with their furry friends. At the same time, new pet parents struggle to manage their new companions, as they are not experienced enough to share their workspace with cute yet mischievous pets.

Pets Relieve Stress and Social Isolation

Interestingly, many people decided to adopt pets as pets can help them relieve stress and also aid in adapting to the new norms due to the crisis. Pets could be the best companions during the pandemic, yet, it may not be practical to expect complete stress relief when one has the added responsibility of looking after a new family member. Pet accompanies you for a lifetime. Therefore, to get an idea about life with a pet, it is advisable to volunteer with a local shelter or pet rescue organization. Depending upon their experience, people can decide whether to enter into a long-term commitment, adopting a cute pet.

Sharing Your Workspace with Cute Companions

The remote working profile would continue in the post-pandemic era. When it comes to sharing your workspace with pets, it is not an all-new concept. Many organizations already realized the positive impacts of pets on human health and overall efficiency. So, companies like Uber, Airbnb, and Etsy allowed their employees to take their pets along to work. However, we need to think about the people working at homes accompanied by pets.

Let us take a glance at the pros, cons, and some interesting facts about pets accompanying you when you are working from home:

Pros of Pets with Professionals Working From Home

Working at home has its merits and demerits. One of the most crucial drawbacks is that the remote workers may miss their social life. Many working professionals struggle to work day-long with their desktops and mobile phones, and nothing else. There is no chance of actual interactions with coworkers and friendly interactions during lunch hours. The pandemic and the new norm of working from home have left many people under immense stress and loneliness.

However, your pets can serve as your best companions in this situation. The people that live alone would get a trustworthy friend to interact with in terms of their pets. Again, pets bear a positive influence on your health and overall well-being.

Many studies indicate that:

  • Pet parents have a comparatively longer life than people without a pet. A study conducted in Sweden analyzed the health history of about 3.4 million individuals, both men, and women, in between the age group of 40 to 80 years, for about a period of 12 years. They conclude that pet parents of dogs get 33% fewer chances of death. Again, the possibilities of death due to heart-related issues are reduced by 36% for the people living alone. Another study published in 2019 after about 70 years of research concludes that dog owners have 24% fewer chances of death.
  • It is also seen that your activity levels and fitness quotient are boosted if you live with pets. According to the study conducted by the National Institute of Health indicates that pet parents walking their dogs get better exercise than others. Thus, these pet parents may put up more weight than people that do not own a dog.
  • As you regularly interact with your pets, the activity reduces your stress hormones and heart rate considerably. This leads to lowered anxiety and depression. Again, spending quality time playing with your pets boosts the level of oxytocin and serotonin. These are the hormones enhancing your happiness.
  • Another study shows that when you have pets in the workplace, they form an emotional attachment with you. The pets also encourage you to have a healthy social life interacting with people around you.
  • Human-Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) also conducted a study that indicates many other positive influences. Pet parents would have fewer health issues, and thus they need not visit physicians frequently. The reduction in physician’s clinic visits accounts for an annual savings of about $ 11.7 billion. The study further explains that around 132.8 million pet parents save $ 11.37 billion annually due to reduced visits to their physicians. At the same time, about 20 million dog owners walking their dogs five times a week save around $419 million in medical expenses.

Apart from the proven health benefits that pet parents working from home attain, they would also notice advantages such as increased efficiency and better mental health. As you walk your dog through a short distance or play with your pets,  you get a much-needed break. Again, your physical activity increases through such pauses.  

Banfield Pet Hospital conducted a survey that indicates positive psychological changes among pet parents working from home. Pet parents develop a positive attitude and also a splendid emotional bond with their pets.

The survey indicates that 20% of working professionals say yes to working accompanied by their fairy friends rather than their colleagues.  Yet, only the working professionals (humans) don’t feel delighted as they work remotely. About 38% of pet parents reported that their pets are happy,  and about 35% of pet parents said that their pets are more playful when they work from home.  Interestingly,  65% of pet parents agreed that they are more affectionate towards their pets.

Cons of Pets with Professionals Working From Home

The thin line between home and workspace is gradually disappearing. Thus, working remotely has become more challenging. This scenario is troublesome to handle for pet parents accompanied by cute, mischievous, distracting pets or dogs that don’t make walking easy.  They often find it tedious to choose from continuing with their work or interacting with the pet dragging attention. As it is difficult to determine boundaries, pets may cause frequent disturbance leading to loss of productivity.

Let us go through some Pro tips  to manage your fairy friends when working remotely from your homes:

  • It would be significant to restructure your schedule so that your pets can understand and remember the boundaries between your playtime and working hours.  It would be better you schedule intermissions between your working hours to walk and play with your pets. as pets get habitual to this new routine,  and they know when you would take them for a walk, they would probably not disturb you during your working hours.
  • You can keep your pets near you arranging their bed next to your working desk so that they don’t feel neglected. How about your pets should be at a safe distance from your workspace. Again, make sure your pets digest this separation comfortably. This tendency would help them when your regular commutes to the office may start in the future.
  • It is commonly seen that cats don’t enjoy the consistent company of humans and other pets. They loved their personal space,  and you must make sure that you are providing it.
  • If your fairy companions like dogs and cats get bored,  they may turn mischievous. So, If it is difficult for you to pay constant attention to your pets,  keep them thoroughly occupied.  This idea would reduce the chances of their boredom and would keep them physically active at the same time.  Pet toys and games can entertain and engage your pets for a long time. Yet,  it would be wise to engage then when you are very busy.  Again, it is essential to keep changing their toys and games to keep their excitement on and on.
  • Avoid providing treats to your pets up to an overflowing extent,  as you spend less time with them.  Remain cautious about their health while choosing their treats and setting the schedule to provide them. Too much of treats may lead to weight gain,  and that causes many other health issues.

In whatever stage of pet parenting you are,  working from home with your pets has its merits and demerits to consider. Yet, for the working professionals operating remotely and living alone,  the company of pets can be remarkably advantageous. By deciding on your schedule,  getting nutritious treats for your pets,  along with fun games and toys,  it would be possible to concentrate on your work and spend quality time with your furry friends.  You need to balance between the time you spend working and interacting with your pets. Your furry companions can help you relax and unwind.

Various online resources on pet ownership or working remotely with pets discuss numerous advantages for the pet owners due to the emotional bond developed with their pets. Going through these articles and blogs helps you make an informed decision while adopting a pet. Again,  discuss the positive influences pets bring for your kids and other family members.  You can expect many positive outcomes such as reduced levels of melancholy, depression,  positive emotional impulses, and peace of mind.  Your kids can be more creative and empathetic due to the constant company of pets.  These qualities make them better and responsible citizens altogether.

Coronavirus pandemic has adversely impacted the way we operate our businesses.  It has also changed the way we work and live in a society in the long run.  The phenomenon of social separation would remain in the post-pandemic era as well. So, to gain confidence to share your workspace with your pets, start helping animals and shelters during this crisis. Today the professionals like fashion designers have become more conscious about hygiene at their workspaces. It is not yet confirmed if some organizations would decide to operate keeping their workforce permanently remote. This scenario is an opportunity for organizations that allow their employees to carry their pets to restrategize.

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