If you are like me and spend your days at home working alone then you will know how it can feel at times.
Yes I love my work – if I didn’t I wouldn’t have dedicated the last few years of my life to providing SEO to businesses all over London and beyond, but it has to be said it can be very challenging at times.
Of course working at home does have its benefits. For instance, I can get out of the home office when necessary to visit a client in London to discuss SEO without the need for hours of travel. I can also set my own hours (just about), but that said it can get very lonely at times when you’ve no one at home to talk to or share the day with.
Before you think I’ve gone mad and concluded that I’m suffering from some kind of breakdown though – think again!
The sheer demand on your personal life that working from home creates deserves some practical solutions and it struck me the other day, when I looked at my dog just how valuable he is to my company.
As a nation of animal lovers –something like 23% of those are dog owners. That’s millions of dogs throughout the UK and I’m one of that 23% with good reason.
My dog is a great office companion to be honest. As well as being fun, he’s a great excuse to get out and take a walk and while he does not possess SEO skills himself (although there’s plenty of time for that) the fact that I can be in my London home, working away with him next to me is really positive experience.
I’ve always had dogs in my life and never let it be said by anyone that they are NOT man’s best friend. They can be natural stress relief, good fun and unlike virtually everyone else in the world to some degree – don’t demand anything but exercise, food and water!
In fact, whether other dog owners would admit or not – I’m sure there’s plenty of home workers outside of London that enjoy being able to vent some momentary frustration or express happiness to their old faithful dog!
There has been many a day when I’ve been under stress I’ve started talking to myself (maybe even sworn a couple of times) and in a moment, had that stress completely alleviated just by looking at my K9 friend panting away at me happily.
I remember years ago that someone somewhere in the world did a study of the affects of stress with and without a dog and apparently – those people with dogs suffered less from stress related illness. So there has to be some reason we have the lovable animals.
A word of caution however…
This may sound ridiculous but someone I know had always worked in their own office outside of the family home and due to a relocation ended up basing most of their working week from their house in London. Amusingly perhaps – the dog didn’t like it and it actually caused quite a few issues initially.
In fact, the person I’m thinking of said how bad they felt when the dog would just sit there all day staring right at them and would never look away, but that they never had the time to take him on a proper work or give him attention.
It wasn’t until I suggested that the dog just needed a better routine under the new working day that they understood. What I didn’t tell them though, was that a good routine applied to them AND their dog. Both needed a bit of a stress vent.
Letting the dog out is not the same as dedicating some play time and of course walks and I know that if I didn’t take mine out for a good hour a day, I’d go insane and no doubt he would!
All home workers have challenges. Not, withstanding the fact that it’s virtually impossible to switch off if you work from home as technically you’re always in your office – even when you should be doing something else.
So, my best advice to anyone working from home is most definitely to get a dog! It’s the only way you stay sane, get exercise and feel that you’re still connected to the world outside!
Update: A week after writing this post my heart was telling me to get another dog as company for Dillan. So a week later without much thought I headed on a 12 hour round trip to Wales and collected my cute new 14 week old Labrador puppy Homer. I called him Homer as he was yellow just like Rocky who passed away a year ago and also because he keeps mounting Dillan making him a Homer Sexual dog! 2 weeks into having him he’s turned my life upside down – I don’t sleep properly anymore, he chews and pees everywhere. Seriously, the dog behaviourist is arriving this afternoon to try and help me get my life back on track – I hope it all works out OK.