31 Mar Working at Home with Pets
With all the virus-related doom and gloom in the media, you could think that NOTHING good is happening in the world. But you’d be wrong. As with any catastrophe, there’s always a silver lining. And in the current crisis, it’s spending more time at home with your pets.
With the rise of “stay at home” working, we’re seeing a whole new generation of co-workers come to the fore – or should we say, the “paw?”
And while our animal friends might not be able to organize spreadsheets or fire off emails, they are, nonetheless, lending their support in our time of need.
What’s interesting about the current work-from-home phenomenon is that it reveals the chaos of our private lives to the outside world. With Carolina Digital Phone shipping hundreds of phones to homebound workers, we bare all. Our bosses can see and hear our dogs desperately jumping up and down in the background to get our attention, despite us begging them to stop.
The current crisis is also opening up opportunities for savvy workers to get out of trouble. While “the dog ate my homework” doesn’t apply here, the excuse “the dog DID my homework (and that’s why it is terrible)” might pass muster with some bosses. After all, how can you blame something as innocent and cute as your pet pooch for failing to format correctly? It’s not their fault that they have tiny little brains.
Working at home with pets can be a lot of fun. I recently employed my pet dog, Buster, as a professional canine consultant. He now lets me and my colleagues know whether we’re making the right virus-related business plans. His responses are characteristically cryptic. He doesn’t say much. But being so attuned to his expressions, I can get the gist of it.
What’s more, if we suggest something idiotic, Buster will slam his paw down on my keyboard like an irate 20th-century boss. He takes no prisoners.
I’ve also noticed that Buster is developing into quite a mentor. He is always there to listen to what I have to say, no matter how facile or imbecilic I sound. And, unlike my other colleagues, he never judges me; he only looks at the facts. He’s been so helpful that I am now considering setting up a work email address for him so that he can share his new management style with my colleagues. He’s a visionary and a valuable sounding board. Perhaps dog chat will replace traditional brainstorming.
I’ve found that colleagues take my dog much more seriously in business meetings if I perch a pair of plastic spectacles on the end of his snout. To me, he looks more managerial with every passing day.
Now that bring-your-pet-to-work day is every day of the week, we’re likely to see pets take a more pivotal role at work. It has undoubtedly changed the nature of work for people like me and many others around the country.
W.C. Fields once said that you should “never work with animals or children.” I’m not sure if he was right.