Hoping to share your office with your pet? Consider these things first.
If you have a cat or a dog and you work from home there is no doubt you have contemplated letting them into your office with you. On the upside, they are cute and keep you company. On the downside, they can cause chaos and damage in your working space.
Should you let your pet into your home office? Let’s take a look at what can go wrong, what can go right and how to let them into that space safely:
Allowing pets into your office can have a lot of potential downsides.
One major downside is that they can disturb you whilst you work. Cats can literally sit on the keyboard, or climb all over you. Dogs may bark or knock things over, causing your attention to persistently be directed towards them, rather than towards your work.
Pets can also leave debris and dirt in your office. They could bring in mud or dirt from their paws, or they might slobber on your equipment. Cats or dogs that are shedding can leave lots of hair everywhere that is very hard to get rid of once it is ‘in the air’. They may also pee and poop if they are prone to accidents.
Lastly, pets could damage your office in ways that not only break your stuff but ways that potentially harm them. If they chew through wires they might ruin your equipment and electrocute themselves. The same will happen if they pee on an electrical item. Cats or dogs may also scratch and chew on other parts of the office, particularly on furniture or the area near the door.
Pets can offer a lot of comfort and warmth in a home office where you may be prone to feeling lonely or isolated. Pets are known to lower your blood pressure, increase feelings of social support and make you feel happier.
It can also be useful to have your pet with you to benefit their health. Your pet may benefit from spending time with you and get comfort and stimulation from little breaks you take together. You can perhaps play with them whilst you take a screen break, and they can entertain you with their weird ways, cute sleeping positions and general way of being.
It is a personal decision as to whether or not you let your pet into your office. The fact is that if you do, you need to make your office pet friendly. Here are some tips to help you do that:
Keep It Minimal
The more clutter and furniture you have, the more there is for your pet to knock over, hurting themselves and ruining your stuff. Utilise personal storage or business storage facilities to store unnecessary furniture and paperwork. Your office should have as little as possible within it not just to keep your pet safe, but to keep your overall office feel as organised and fresh as possible.
Keep it Entertaining
Try to have some toys in your office that will keep your pet entertained when they have a burst of energy. Just make sure it isn’t squeaky as you’ll likely soon come to regret that choice.
Tidy Your Wires
Wires are the most risky aspect of an office when it comes to your pets being in there. In particular they can chew the wires, which is not ideal. Tidying your wires up underneath your desk and against the wall will help to avoid any incidents happening.
Give Them Somewhere To Rest
Ideally your pet will settle down in your office so that they don’t disturb you too much. Having a few ways for them to snuggle will help. Kitty shelving is always a good idea as they love to be at a vantage point. Otherwise, a blanket on your desk, or under your desk could work. If your office window faces bird feeders you might even want to create a viewing platform for your cat to enjoy. As long as the pet has options they have more of a chance of not just trying to sit on your lap or laptop whilst you work.
Avoid Office Plants
Office plants are a great idea for your working space aesthetic and for creating a healthy office environment. However, they are often not pet friendly. Plants like monstera or pothos are generally really bad for animals to eat. Even plants that are safe for pets, like these, can encourage them to chew on them and vomit in your office. Unless your pet never bothers with plants or the plant is 100% out of their reach, stick to pictures of plants for a fully pet friendly home office.
There is nothing wrong with keeping your pet out of your office so that you can work without being disturbed. If you do decide to let them in, though, take the time to ensure that the space is pet friendly so that you can both share the space in harmony moving forward.