Not all telecommuters are work-at-home parents to human children; many of us are parents to fur babies who are important members of the family.
You and your pets may enjoy being together while you work, but that doesn’t mean your home office is safe for your dogs and cats. Create a pet-friendly home office environment using these helpful suggestions:
Raise your PC off the floor. If you’re sharing home office space with a dog or cat, you’re also sharing your home office with your pet’s shedding fur. Elevating your PC tower will protect its fans from fur ball clogs and prevent your pet from using it as a personal scratching post or fire hydrant.
Consider keyboard protection. Cats love to use keyboards as their personal treadmills and nap mats. This is fun for them but not so much for you when you notice that your pet’s paws have crafted and sent a nonsensical IM to your boss or deleted an important document in the Cloud. The solution is PawSense.
PawSense is a software program that detects nonsense typed on your keyboard. Upon detection, the software will disable keyboard commands to protect your computer and play an annoying noise to deter cats from lying down on the keyboard.
Contain cables and cords. Pets are pretty much guaranteed to get tangled up in a disorganized web of cables and cords originating from your home office electronics. Contain cables and cords and keep your pets free from the threat of electrocution and strangulation by utilizing zip ties, cable clamps, or a cable management system in your home office.
Establish space just for your pets. Your dog or cat will want to be close to you, so set up a bed near or under your desk, like this one from Frontgate. If you have a small dog you could even convert a drawer or cupboard in your desk into a space for him.
Let dogs out for phone meetings. Taking an important call? Avoid embarrassing barking noises by giving your dogs some yard time while you’re on the phone. Your coworkers and clients will appreciate it.
Make time for walks. Dog owners, build time into your day for a walk with your perfect pooch. Exercise will help keep your pet content and not constantly begging for your attention while you work.
Keep tabs on the choking hazards. Contain small items, like paper clips, pens, staples, and thumbtacks, in boxes with lids or in drawers that close and lock. When these items fall on the floor, they pose a choking risk to curious animals.
Secure toxic office supplies. In the same way that you should contain small office supplies that could cause your pet to choke, store toxic office supplies, like toner cartridges, ink, and glue, in a secure location within your home office.
Take a tour of your home office from your pet’s point of view. Take a cue from new parents baby-proofing their homes for their human infants and protect your fur babies by touring your home office from their perspective. Get down on all fours and sniff out any home office dangers. Cover electrical outlets, screw heavy shelving to the wall, and latch cabinet doors that lead to items that could harm your pets.
Do you allow pets in your home office; how do you make it work for all of you?
Do you allow pets in your home office; how do you make it work for all of you? Join the discussion by leaving a comment below and don’t forget to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.
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