Looking for ways to work from home more effectively? These are my top tips to setup your home office, especially if you are working from home with pets!
Since the advent of the Coronavirus and its related restrictions, home based jobs have become a reality for many as they have been basically forced to work from home. Whilst the impetus to work from home may have come about through really unfortunate circumstances, many people have embraced it.
Home based jobs – what’s not to like?
No travel, no delays in getting to work, weather is no longer a factor, you can work in your pyjamas, start and finish when it suits you best, spend time with your family AND you can have your pet cat at work with you!
Working From Home With Pets – does it affect your efficiency?
As a work from home mum, I have experimented with home office ideas over time and found the best home office setup for not only my children who are older now, but also my pet cat called Cheetah.
She is a beautiful Bengal cat – a striking shorthair cat breed which was developed in the USA in the 60s, through cross breeding a domestic cat with a non-domestic Asian Leopard Cat. Cool hah?
Now Cheetah, rather like a small child, wants what she wants when she wants it! Bengal cats tend to be quite independent, they love their family but are not cuddly cats, they express their love by hanging around with you rather than climbing up on you, they also love to catch mice and show you how clever they’ve been. My Bengal doesn’t like being carried around, but she does love her family.
As Cheetah has gotten older (she’s 16 years of age now) she has demanded more and more attention and seems to need to be near me at all times and has even become a lap cat in her old age!
She will meow and sometimes yell until she gets what she wants – obviously this can cause problems when I’m trying to concentrate on my work, on a phone call or have an online conference. So setting up a home office to suit both me and Cheetah is important to maximise my efficiency.
Setting up a home office for maximum efficiency
Now I’m sure experienced work from home mums will have their work space all organised, their work station may be in a dedicated office (the best home office setup if you have the room), or possibly an unused dining room (no entertaining allowed during social isolation!), perhaps a kitchen counter, or, a corner of their bedroom.
Whatever your situation, to maximise your productivity whilst being a work at home mum (both child and pet parent), it is important to be organised with your home work jobs.
My Top 11 Ways To Work From Home More Effectively…
Tip 1: Have a Comfortable Home Office Chair
Comfortable home office chair, but not one you can fall asleep in – any sleep deprived working mum will know what I’m talking about! You do, don’t you?
Tip 2: Make Sure You Have Enough Desk Space
A desk with enough desktop space to fit your essentials such as:
- a laptop or a desktop computer,
- Phone (mobile or landline)
- Good task lighting
Other items you may want room for on your desktop include:
- A Baby monitor
- Notepad and pen, or are you operating a paper free office?
- Essential oils
- Vase of beautiful flowers
Tip 3: Create An Inviting Workspace
Make your workspace as inviting as you can – a sense of dread entering your home office is not going to be conducive to working effectively. There are all manner of distractions at home, which means that procrastination can become a real issue.
So when setting up a home office, ensure you create an environment that you enjoy being in.
Tip 4: Your Home Office Has Comfortable Temperature
Make sure the room has adequate heating and cooling.
Tip 5: Declutter Your Home Office using Simple Storage Ideas
Have plenty of storage so you can be organized and clutter free, storage that can be closed is best so prying fingers or paws can’t grab at things!
Think about storage for toys as well, let’s be realistic; there will be times when your children will be in your home office with you. You may even keep a portable cot in there, throw in a few toys and books and your child will happily play there for a while.
Tip 6: Have a Good Amount of Natural Lighting For Your Home Office
Place your desk near a window if possible. I find that a window beside or in front of my home office desk is great for my sense of well-being and provides lovely natural light to work with. If you use a computer, you won’t want to have a window behind you as this will cause glare on your screen.
Tip 7: Have a Home Office Space That Can be Closed Off From Distractions
Have a door that can be closed – for when you have online conferences, or simply need a break from everyone else in the house!
Tip 8: An Armchair Can Provide a Relaxing Place to Work From Home
Place an armchair and side table in your study for a secondary place to work from in a more casual, relaxed way. It’s great to have the option of mixing it up a bit.
Additional Tips When Working From Home With Pets
When working from home with pets, it’s important to think of their needs as well as your own.
A happy cat equals a happy and productive work at home mum. Your pet cat will most likely spend large parts of the day in your office so set up a home office that is suitable for office pets.
Tip 9: Add Some Cat Accessories To Your Home Office
Add some key cat accessories to your study. See my reviews of the best cat accessories 2020 to find the best cat products for your home office.
Add A Cat Tree To Your Home Office
If you have the room, a cat tree would be ideal. It can be as simple as a scratching post with 2 ledges or as intricate as a multi layered cat tower and cat condo, with scratching posts, ramps and attached cat toys.
This type of cat tree allows your feline to play, tear around from level to level, climb up to the top shelf and gaze down adoringly, but a little haughtily upon you and when she is tired of jumping and climbing all over the tree, he or she can snuggle into their cat condo and have a little snooze, safe in the knowledge that you are working close by.
If your cat purrs loudly then you may need to also purchase some noise cancelling headphones!
Include A Cat Bed On Your Home Office Desk
My lovely cat will often look for attention, want lots of pats and if I’m not giving them to her, she will jump up onto my desk, stride across my computer’s keyboard while rubbing against me – not really conducive to effective work!
So I have placed a basket with a rug in it (any cat bed will do) on my desk to try and encourage her to lie there rather than on my keyboard!
Tip 10: Keep Your Home Office Clean From Cat Hair
Have a lint role and a duster within easy reach.
Loose cat fur is a fact of life when sharing a home with a cat; it gets everywhere – on your clothes, your chair and on your desk. It’s lovely cuddling up to your cat, it’s a great way to destress, but I can only stand so much cat fur on me and my desk.
I like to have a quick clean periodically throughout the day with the lint roller and duster. It’s best to remove cat fur from your computer too.
Tip 11: Keep Cats Away From Computer Drives
Don’t let your pet cat sit on the air vent of your computer drive – cats love the warmth of the air being expelled. Blocking this may lead to overheating your computer.
Plenty of Home Office Ideas for You to Consider
So, there you have it, my top 11 tips for setting up a home office for work at home mums who also own a pet cat! Hopefully these tips will help those working from home with pets.
The key thing to remember is:
Set up a warm and inviting home office that is both functional and beautiful
Set up a space that you enjoy working in and which your beloved family members, including your pets, feel welcome to visit you in.
Children will one day understand that this is mum’s work space, but I’m afraid cats, who largely have a mind of their own, will never really grasp that concept, so don’t fight it, give them a play and sleep area and that should be enough to satisfy them!
A happy, organised and contented family empowers you to work from home to your optimal level, freeing up precious time that may otherwise be wasted on procrastination.
Hi, I’m Franny Hightower. I love cats and have always had at least one pet cat my whole life. I have raised moggy cats, rescue cats and purebred cats; both long-hair cats (never again, too much work!) and short-hair cats which are my passion – please see my website https://shorthaircatbreeds.com/.
I am also a work at home mum, so have experienced setting up a home office with not only children in mind, but also cats!