It is a challenging time in the world. Some of us are still lucky enough to be working, now mostly from home. This is great news for our dogs. They are loving having you around and the extra attention that comes with this.
For the remote working dog owner, the new expectations around virtual team standups, video 1:1 meetings and even video client meetings can be made harder by a dog seeking attention, even sometimes getting on camera! There are a few strategies you can use to improve this situation:
1) Tire out your dog early.
Probably the easiest strategy is to get up and use your usual commute time to take your dog for a walk. This is great for both of you, but in particular, for your dog, it will provide them with plenty of stimulation to tire them out. Schedule those early video meetings and adhere to the adage "let sleeping dogs lie"
2) Make a safe space for your dog in the office.
Dogs want to be near you (your part of the pack) and also want a safe space of their own. In the case of my little office buddy Rocky, there is a special dog bed under my office desk where she curls up during the day. A favourite blanket or rug can also achieve the same result.
3) Take regular breaks to interact away from your desk
This one takes a little more time and training. You need regular breaks. Sitting at your desk for long periods is no good for you and deprives your dog of their much-desired attention. When you take a break use this as an opportunity to interact with your dog away from your desk and office. This strategy aims to train your dog not to interact with you at the desk.
4) Deploy a distraction ahead of that important video call
A few minutes before that important client video call or 1:1 Skype with your boss, giving your dog their favourite distraction such as a bone, treat ball, or chew toy, can be the easiest way to get that precious hour uninterrupted. It is always a good idea to make some preparation ahead of time to ensure you destress the whole situation for both you and your dog.
I have worked remotely for many years and find strategies 1 & 2 work the best for my situation. I hope these strategies help our subscribers new to remote working in our new lockdown reality.