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Pets & the World of Work



Over the past few years, our work lives have undergone significant changes, with many of us adopting pets in our remote or hybrid work setups.


Here is a funny 20 second clip of a French bulldog cameo appearance during a work meeting. 


In many positive ways, our pets have emerged as constant companions in these settings, offering comfort, companionship, and even comic relief during our workdays. 


If you are working in a remote setting where a barking dog may be out of your immediate control, it’s wise to share this possibility with your audience in advance. 


Been there, done that! 


Alongside the joy of having pets comes responsibility for ensuring their well-being and safety, and business awareness for what is appropriate.  


Here are some tips on how to navigate pets at work while maintaining professionalism:


  • Acknowledge and Embrace the Moment: When a pet appears on screen during a Zoom or Teams meeting, acknowledge it with a light-hearted comment or a quick smile. Recognizing the presence of pets can help create a more relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

  • Keep it Brief: While it's okay to acknowledge pets during a video meeting, it's essential to keep the focus on the agenda and maintain productivity. Avoid letting pets become the main focus of the conversation and quickly transition back to the meeting's purpose.

  • Minimize Distractions: Encourage employees to find a quiet and distraction-free environment for Zoom meetings, which may include keeping pets in another room or providing them with toys or treats to keep them occupied.

  • Lead by Example: Leaders and managers should lead by example by demonstrating professionalism and setting clear expectations for video meetings. This includes modeling appropriate behavior and addressing any disruptions promptly and respectfully.

  • Consider Using Virtual Backgrounds: If pets are prone to causing distractions during video meetings, consider using virtual backgrounds to maintain focus on the meeting content and minimize visual distractions.

  • Educate Employees on Pet Etiquette: Provide guidance on pet etiquette in virtual meetings, such as keeping pets quiet and well-behaved, avoiding sudden movements or loud noises, and muting microphones when pets are present.

 

During the pandemic and specifically in 2020 and 2021, we saw a surge in adoption rates as people spent more time at home.  As we have transitioned in 2024, with many employees returning full-time to the office, shelters have seen a decrease in adoption rates compared to the peak years. 


In an interview with a Professional Job Candidate this week, I learned about the non-profit board she services on, and about the important work they are doing in their community that's making a difference! 


Designersfordogs.org is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to education, advocacy, and creative collaboration to transform the interior design community into a force for positive change in the lives of rescue and foster dogs.


At Designers for Dogs, they’re committed to not only raising funds and awareness for rescues like Operation Kindness in Dallas, TX but also educating and equipping members with the knowledge they can share with homeowners year-round.


Their goal? To grow Designers for Dogs into a global organization, spreading awareness and advocating for responsible pet ownership worldwide.

 

Wynne Hires recognizes and supports Designers For Dogs, and this important cause.


As we move forward, it's essential to remember the commitment we made when adopting pets - to provide them with love, care, and a forever home. Whether you adopted a pet during the pandemic or are considering it now, remember that the decision to bring a pet into your life is a significant one that requires careful consideration and responsibility.


Let's continue to support shelters and rescue organizations, promote responsible pet ownership, and ensure that every animal finds a loving home, pandemic or not.


Looking for updated photos of your furry friend? A local Western Massachusetts photographer, Grace Mackenzie Photographer & Design offers multiple pet donation photoshoots throughout the year where you bring items for local animal shelters in exchange for portraits of your pet. As well as free end of life photoshoots for elderly pets. This project is called Project Kenzie Girl. Check out Grace's offerings here.


If you are interviewing to hire, or to be hired, you MUST read our FREE DOWNLOADABLE E-BOOK, Interviewing From Both Sides Of The Desk.


Follow us for more tips and resources: https://linktr.ee/wynnehires


YouTube Channel: Wynne Hires - YouTube

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