Working from home (WFH) is becoming an increasingly popular lifestyle, with many benefits, like increased personal time. Without having to commute to work, plus being able to do household chores during the day and spend time with family, WFH can be a great lifestyle boost.
It’s also a great option for pet owners, because it allows them to spend more time with their pets, rather than leave them alone all day – especially if the pet is particularly needy. However, a common drawback of WFH is that it can affect mental health if workers are not spending enough time out of the home. They can find themselves lacking outdoor time and socialisation.
For people who don’t already own a pet, adopting one can improve the WFH lifestyle, because animals provide companionship, responsibility, and increased serotonin (happiness!). In fact, adoptions surged during the worst of COVID-19 lockdowns, because people were suffering from intense loneliness.
To encourage you to adopt a new family member, here are three reasons pets improve your WFH lifestyle:
Play and exercise
Most dogs should be taken for a walk at least once a day, meaning dog owners are more likely to receive the many health benefits of outdoor exercise. Fresh air, movement, sunshine, and time spent with your pet are all great for both physical and mental health. And there are many places you can take your dog that also provide social benefits: around your neighbourhood, dog parks, dog beaches, national parks, and so on.
But it isn’t only dogs that provide an incentive to exercise. Cats can, of course, be very playful and have bursts of high energy. Engaging in play with any animal is a fun dopamine booster that gets you moving. If possible, taking your pet outside is even better (but remember to be safe and keep an eye on them!).
So, if you need an extra push to start moving more and improve your health, a pet is a fantastic option. Both the mental and physical health benefits of owning a pet are strong enough to reduce health issues such as obesity and heart problems, stress and mental illness, and more, meaning you’ll also find yourself saving money on doctor or therapist visits.
Mental health benefits = better productivity
You may expect that having a pet around while working can be distracting, but the mental health benefits they provide (such as lowered stress levels) mean pets help you work even better. With higher energy and reduced anxiety and depression, you are better able to enjoy your work and get more done.
Again, loneliness is a common disadvantage of working from home – another reason why having a pet boosts your mental health. By giving you companionship, as well as the responsibility of needing to take care of them, the animal gives you increased joy and purpose.
Don’t forget the benefits of physical contact, especially if you’re living alone and don’t get to see people very often. Cuddles and pats with your pet can really boost your mood and help promote feelings of calm and relaxation (particularly with cats, when they purr). The love that comes through the bond between a human and a pet also increases happy hormones like serotonin, which improve your mood and help you deal with stress.
Because pets encourage you to take regular breaks – for walks, pats, feeding, etc. – you’ll also find that your productivity increases. In an office, it’s easy to sit and stare at a screen for hours, but with a pet, you’re incentivised to get up and move around. This will lead to better health and higher productivity. You shouldn’t see a pet as a distraction, but as a reminder to take breaks.
An animal gets a loving home
By adopting a pet as someone who works from home, you’re not only giving an animal a home – you’re giving them the love and attention of someone who is going to be there with them all day. Unfortunately for most pet owners, work means they have to be separated from their pet for over eight hours a day, causing loneliness and a lack of exercise and play for the pet.
People who WFH are in a great position to be able to spend quality time with their pet, ensuring they’re cared for, are given enough exercise and attention, and all their other needs are met. Because you’re at home, you also don’t have to worry about hiring someone else to take care of the pet, such as a dog walker. This creates a closer bond between you and your pet, and reduces the stress of separation.
There are so many animals in shelters waiting for someone to bring them home. Saving an animal and making a new best friend is a privilege that from-home workers are in a great position to take advantage of.
Will you consider adopting a pet to be your WFH colleague? Georgie and Cindy from Large Hope SEO foster cats and kittens on the Sunshine Coast in Australia. If you’re local, get in touch to discuss adopting from the rescues. See cats and kittens available for adoption.