More and more Americans who own emotional support animals are now working remotely. The coronavirus pandemic has been a game-changer in how we work. Lots of people began to work from home during lockdowns, and for many companies and employees, remote working proved to be very successful.
Companies found that allowing their employees to work remotely reduced overheads (office space is expensive). And employees relished working in their pajamas, not having to commute, and most importantly… getting to spend more time with their beloved ESAs!
For many Americans with emotional support animals, the biggest advantage to remote working is getting to be with their ESA all day. ESAs provide companionship and love, they never gossip, and they don’t judge you for wearing your favorite old slippers in the office!
Working from home with your emotional support animal brings up some important questions. How do I entertain my ESA while I work from home? How do I keep my emotional support animal quiet when working from home? How do I stay productive when working from home with my ESA?
Read on for 10 remote working tips for emotional support animal owners.
1. Appreciate The Gift Of Extra Time With Your ESA
Firstly, stop and smell the roses. Be grateful for the opportunity to spend lots of time with your ESA. Appreciate getting to bask in the warm glow of positive emotions that the affection of your ESA provides. Working from home with your emotional support animal for company is a beautiful gift that can have huge mental health benefits.
2. Make Time For A Morning Stroll
Before the workday begins, it can be a good idea to take a nice morning stroll with your ESA. Getting out into the fresh air enlivens your brain and gets your blood pumping. Emotional support dogs love to get out into the fresh morning air. It also gives your ESA a chance to do their business and burn off some energy.
3. Make Sure Your ESA Has Enough Food And Water
How much your ESA needs to eat and drink will depend on what species it is. But what is crucial is that, whatever type of ESA you have, it has a suitable supply of food and water to stay happy and hydrated throughout the day while you work.
4. Communicate With Your ESA As Much As You Can
Even while you are working, it is possible to keep in contact with your ESA. They love regular company and contact, whether verbal or tactile. You can even bounce work-related ideas off your ESA: while you might not get much of a response from your dog, cat, or gerbil, verbalizing ideas often helps you to flesh them out. (Or you could even set up a “one bark for yes, two barks for no” system of collaboration!)
5. Don’t Forget Toilet Breaks
Getting plenty of toilet breaks is important. ESAs do not enjoy holding it in, and it’s not healthy for them to do so. So get out into the fresh air and allow your emotional support animal to relieve itself regularly. Their comfort is paramount!
6. Take Regular Exercise Breaks
It is important to make sure you and your ESA take regular exercise breaks. A healthy ESA is a happy ESA. Exercise breaks can be combined with toilet breaks: get into the fresh air and take a stroll, jog, or bike ride. Even some time in the garden, perhaps playing a quick game of fetch, will do the trick. Of course, this depends on your species of ESA – some ESA dogs require a lot more exercise than others.
7. Enjoy Shared Mealtimes
A lovely way to bond with your ESA is to have a shared mealtime. Depending on your ESA species’ eating habits, this can be a great bonding experience. Eating together creates tight emotional bonds. There is nothing more satisfying than eating something healthy and delicious while watching your ESA best friend do the same!
8. Try The Kanban Work Method
The Kanban work method is a Japanese productivity hack. It divides the workday into short bursts of highly productive work time interspersed with breaks. Kanban is great when working remotely with your ESA because it allows you to maximize productivity while also having plenty of regular short hang-outs with your emotional support pet.
9. Make Sure Your ESA Is Not A Disruption To Zoom Meetings
Most of us have had a work Zoom meeting interrupted by a screaming child, snoring co-worker, or yapping dog. Don’t be that guy! Zoom meetings can be exciting and productive, or they can be a time-sapping, obligatory drag. Either way, they are most effective when they are quick and to the point. Don’t allow your ESA to interrupt Zoom meetings and make them longer than they need to be. Your co-workers will probably not appreciate your ESA’s interruptions as much as you do!
10. Talk A Nice Long Walk At The End Of The Day
Finish the workday with a nice long walk. Get out of your home office and spend an hour in nature or exploring your town or city, for your ESA’s benefit and your own. Breath fresh air, get your heart and lungs pumping, interact with some fellow ESA-walkers. A reasonably long, leisurely stroll is the perfect way to unplug from work. It’s wonderfully beneficial for mental and physical health – both for you and for your emotional support pet.