Is Your Team Working From Home?
Show Them This…
Research shows that businesses lose an average of 600 billion dollars from workplace distractions. Can your company afford that kind of loss? Here is what you can do to best support your team members who work from home.
The Financial Costs of Distractions
As many people may have noted in the 2020 mass transition to working from home, being in an office comes with a host of productivity-sapping distractions that often aren’t pulling at our attention in a work-from-home setup, like coworkers dropping by to chat. But at-home workers are confronted with their own set of challenges, and households with pets can often count on adding them to their list of potential distractions throughout the day.
In a 2020 study conducted by Statista on employees working from home, 18.1% of participants named their pets are one of the leading distractions during their workdays.
When our attention is pulled away from the task at hand - whether in the form of a text message or a barking dog - the effect is longer-lasting than we may realize. It takes an average of 25 minutes to fully refocus on the original task after a distraction. The time spent on interruptions from pets - and the subsequent searching for solutions to keep them occupied - can add up to significant chunks of productivity lost over the course of the work day.
A “Tug-of-War” for Attention
Examples of attention-seeking behaviors from pets of the canine persuasion include behaviors like excessive barking, nudging, and bringing toys to their owners. Boredom is often to blame. Dogs who don't get enough activity and stimulation throughout the day will resort to attention-seeking behavior, often to the detriment of their owners' productivity.
And for dogs previously unaccustomed to having their human companions at home during the workday, the mass move to working from home has been a jarring one. If a dog sees it an owners’ presence as a sign that it’s play time, both parties are in for a rude awakening. Dogs are left frustrated at their owners’ lack of attention, and owners similarly so at the workday disturbances from which they were previously free in an office environment.
Supporting Your At-Home Workforce
As an employer, how can you provide your teams with support to succeed while they work from home?
Many companies have started offering home office budgets to their workforce, with the understanding that ergonomic work setups make for happier and more productive employees. Some offer perks that extend beyond the desk itself - like gym reimbursement - with the understanding that worker satisfaction and success is complex and can be bolstered from different angles.
In the U.S., 69 million households own at least one dog. It’s time to start considering the impact that pets can have on workers’ productivity and addressing it in a similar manner.
This is why we designed the Treat Clincher: to give dog owners free time while providing a healthy outlet for their furry companions’ energy. A twelve inch bully stick will occupy the average dog for hours, making it an ideal tool for use during high-stakes work calls or presentations. And the effect is longer-lasting than just the bully stick itself: the high-reward activity provides much-needed mental stimulation that dogs should get throughout the day to keep energy and anxiety levels in check.
Every dog needs physical activity: daily walks at a minimum, and more high-intensity play for working breeds or young dogs. Treats are no substitution for regular walks and play, but part of the equation of a healthy, calm dog is mental enrichment throughout the day in the form of toys or chews.
As home offices become more of a staple in the current age, it’s time to start tackling the challenges of this new work environment and taking stock of what employees need to succeed. As a leader, you want to attract bright minds and loyal teammates with supportive and thoughtful company policies. We need to start looking more holistically at what workers need to be happy and successful in a work-from-home setup, beyond the basics of a well-designed desk.
For low turnover, for worker satisfaction, for the plain old bottom line, supporting employees working from home in a holistic manner makes sense for good business. To enable your employees’ productivity from all angles, consider adding a dog product like the Treat Clincher to your company’s list of work-from-home tools. Your workers - and their furry coworkers - will thank you.
Author: Morgan Mravca