If you’re thinking of working from home instead of driving to an office, there are many benefits to consider. At first, you might think of how much money you will save on gas or how much time you will save on your commute. You might think about how much money you will save on eating out for lunch or how much easier it will be to control the type of food you eat. You might be dreaming about how much fun it will be to commute to work in your PJs.

But what about your pets? This article is about pausing to think about paws. Paws across your home office can help us be healthier, happier and make more money working from home. Many people feel that having pets as coworkers is one of the very best benefits of working from home, and none more so than Shelley. Pets provide benefits to us and we can provide benefits to them as well. We interviewed Shelley about the work she does with rescue cats.

The cat who proved the nine lives myth. Shelley has been involved with an animal rescue organization and sometimes adopts or fosters rescue cats herself. They are almost always special needs kitties. Shelley also has a full-time job, a career in the call center industry. Shelley’s job is to be the liaison with clients, which means she deals with a lot of people, is in constant meetings and juggles intense daily deadlines. The difference is that Shelley is able to do all of that working from home. She has worked from home successfully for over ten years for our virtual call center. In fact, we all work from home.

One of Shelley’s special needs kitties was Boy, who had diabetes. It was necessary to monitor Boy’s blood sugar levels throughout the day so that his blood sugar wouldn’t drop to dangerous levels. Shelley also gave Boy insulin shots every day. I’ve never heard of a diabetic cat before but Shelley has educated us with many near-death stories involving Boy for years. Shelley said she doesn’t think Boy would have made it if she wasn’t able to work from home. It’s hard to believe that Boy actually lived to the ripe old cat age of 14 years. That’s only one year short of the average lifespan for cats.

Many cat people believe, as I do, there is no such thing as a cat owner. The cats choose us. They are not our cats. We are their people. I have to hand it to Boy, he did a great job of choosing his people. Having Shelley as a work from home pet parent is a pretty creative way to cash in on your nine lives tokens.

Shelley also had an elderly rescue dog named Royce. Royce had to have two major procedures to have his teeth removed and needed more care through his recovery. Shelley loves working from home because it gives her peace of mind to not have to worry about her pets being left home alone, especially when they are ill or recovering from surgery. Shelley was able to take care of Royce throughout the day for his recovery. Royce has since passed away, however, he had really good life in his later years because of his work from home pet mom, Shelley.

Shelley built a catio for her cats by cutting a hole through the side of the house and installing a cat door. The catio is an enclosed space that allows everybody to be safe and have access to the open air outdoors. While Shelley is working away doing her job, the cats are able to do their job too without interrupting Shelley. They come and go as they please through the catio door so they can bask in the sun or watch their cat TV, the birds, squirrels and foxes that come up in the backyard. But those foxes can only look.

Paws feeling isolated and lonely working from home. Working from home can feel lonely sometimes. Feeling isolated is one of the downsides to working from home. Having pets as coworkers can change all that. The American Heart Association said that pets help their owners feel less lonely in general. It is hard to feel lonely when they are stuck by our sides every chance they get. They give us a good reason to spring out of bed in the morning.

Paws across your home office have health benefits. Having pets, in general, provide so many benefits for our mental and physical health. Pets help decrease anxiety, stress, and can even decrease the likelihood of depression. Working from home allows you to spend much more time with your pets, which can improve your overall health. Being home more often can even improve your pet’s health as well. By spending more time together, you help your pets feel extra love and your mental health will benefit from it too.

Pets force you to exercise. Pets help enforce exercise in our daily routines. By being around them more often, throughout your workday, you will be able to experience these benefits more often. If you are able to work from home, they can also help create a routine for your day. This can be by feeding them at certain times or scheduling their walks for certain times.

Pets help you keep to a schedule. Like kids, dogs don’t want you to sleep in. Having a routine when working from home can greatly affect your productivity and job performance.

The Mental Health Foundation found that 87% of people who own a cat said that pet ownership had a positive impact on their overall health. They also found that 76% of pet parents said that their pets helped them cope in ways they didn’t know how to do before owning one. Some pet parents even said that working from home saved them on services they usually purchase for their pet. This could be a paid dog walker or for doggy daycare.

Paws the burnout. If you have pets, you can relate to and will have experienced the healing benefits of pets for yourself. Especially during this pandemic, many people attribute their pet as helping to create a sense of well-being when its needed even more than usual. Working from home can be difficult and feel isolating. Pets are a good distraction once in a while when you start to feel symptoms of burnout. When we work from home, we don’t have to wonder and worry about what our pets are doing all day. We can see them and check on them. Many people have said that being able to spend time with pets working from home during the current pandemic has been incredibly helpful.

Working from home provides solutions for pet parents who are training a puppy, caring for an elderly pet or have pets who have separation anxiety. Pets encourage us to play, be active, calm down and feel safe. When you work from home, you don’t have to wait all day to see their happy faces. You can see them at any time.

About the Author

Tracie Chancellor, CEO and Founder of TeleReach Corporate, national business to business call center specializing in sales appointment setting and lead generation, based in Houston, Texas. Chancellor is an MBA graduate of the University of Houston with over 20 years hands-on sales and marketing experience, working with privately-held businesses, universities, non-profit organizations, as well as Fortune businesses in the business to business marketing space.