To pet or not to pet? Should I get a furry freelancer companion?
Freelancing is wonderful, it really is. You work on the jobs you want to work on, get paid the rate you want to be paid and work the hours you want to work.
However, there is one great big downside that nearly all freelancers mention when asked: it’s lonely.
It’s why, if you go into any given coffee shop during the average working day you’ll see freelancers tapping away on their laptops, just to be around other people. Of course, there are other ways to ease solitude without spending £10 a day on flat whites and toasties.
The most popular option? Get a pet.
Pets in the (freelance) workplace
Having a pet in the workplace is nothing new. In fact, many traditional workplaces now allow employees to bring in their furry friends. Google, Amazon and Nestlé all welcome pets, with Nestlé even having designated dog-friendly meeting rooms and a pet-friendly garden called Central Bark.
So, it’s no surprise that the self-employed, with their increased flexibility and work-from-home ethos would want pets in their workplace too.
Benefits of having a furry freelance buddy
- Less lonely? Having a pet around means that you’ll always have some degree of social interaction, whether it’s your cat resting on your knee while you research, or your dog enthusiastically greeting you when you finish on a call.
- Stress relief ? It’s been proven that having a pet around a workplace reduces stress and relaxes you. A 2012 study by the International Journal of Workplace Health Management found that workers with pets around had decreased hormonal stress levels compared to those that didn’t.
- Increases performance? If you’re less lonely and less stressed, it stands to reason that you’re likely to be more productive and that you’ll produce better work.
Negatives of freelancers having a pet
- Distractions ahoy? If you’re someone who gets distracted easily, then having a pet around probably isn’t for you as you may find yourself stroking your cat or taking your dog for a walk instead of working.
- Potential damage? Depending on your field of work, you may have a lot of expensive equipment at home or you may just have a laptop and a printer. Either way, you don’t necessarily want an overexcited pup getting its paws on them.
- Pet care costs? If your work ever needs you to go onsite with a client, you’ll have to consider whether your pet can be left alone or whether you need someone to look after it. This can have the consequence of last minute bills which will reduce your earnings.
It’s up to you to decide if a pet is the right freelance companion for you and it’s never a decision to be taken lightly – always ensure you can properly look after your pet before you commit.