Discussion

Balancing Work and Dogs: Tips for Working from Home

February 23, 2023

I always wanted a Golden Retriever. But as a small business owner, the idea of owning a dog seemed impossible. Now, with our increased focus on work/life balance and remote working at Time Recruitment, the opportunity suddenly seemed more achievable… and I’ve finally made the wonderful decision to adopt a furry friend!

Turns out, I’m not the only one:

  • There are 13 million dogs in the UK
  • They are the most common pet – as of Oct 2022 34% of households owned a pet dog.
  • In 2021/22 UK pet ownership generally peaked at 62%
  • In addition to the above statistic, sadly over 8000 dogs were abandoned last year.

The journey of owning a dog while balancing full time work so far has been full of unexpected moments and wonderful surprises – read on to find out what I’ve learned so far…

Dogs can improve your mental and physical health while working from home

Dogs are key to our wellbeing and have been more than helpful to the human race for years. But dogs can benefit remote workers in so many ways!

1. Before your work day commences you will no doubt walk your dog, whilst wearing a motivating fit bit, for at least 30 minutes, and will do this again at lunch time/after work.

2. Apart from feeling fitter because of the exercise, the release of endorphins in your brain will be triggered – which are known as “feel good” hormones…that in itself is a big benefit for productivity.

3. Research has supported the above with dog owners stating that their mental and physical health had improved since owning a dog.

4. Social life – dog owners love talking about their dog and your dog and most dog owners seem to feel really content talking to strangers….as long as there is a dog involved!

5. Dogs are clever, as we know, so if they feel that this is one stranger best not to engage with – they will generally let you know this too.

6. Owning a dog whilst working from home will encourage leaving your desk/kitchen table etc. in order to have micro breaks.

7. You will move more regularly and will benefit from a blast of fresh air, as well as your dog, during these breaks.

8. Moving regularly inevitably assists in avoiding back ache and other muscle issues.

Tips for maintaining productivity while working from home with your dog:

  • Walk, feed and play with your dog before starting work or going on line.
  • Set up a dedicated space for your dog, away from your desk space, although a lot of dogs prefer to go to bed under your desk to make sure you are ok 🙂
  • Take regular, consistent short breaks with the dog which will hopefully keep them satisfied for when the virtual meeting is planned.

My dog ownership journey

Ok, so the Golden Retriever – it was a long term goal, but hasn’t quite worked out that way! I decided that I didn’t want to own a dog just yet so agreed to foster dogs thinking I could do this for a few years.

The first dog I fostered was a Yorkie – oh my, how could I give this perfect dog back? I adopted her very quickly! She is now the ideal companion and I must admit I have really benefitted from her joining my world and I know she has benefitted too…why else would this dog literally smile at me!? My colleague has a Cockapoo and definitely feels the same way, this little dog is also important and wonderful to have as a silent partner during the working day.

What about you? Have you enjoyed having a dog or another pet at home whilst working? We would love to hear some stories! 🙂

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