Pets 'Co-Workers' During Quarantine
Bringing pets to the workplace is becoming more and more common. Whaleapp is a pet-friendly company too! Our love for animals extends to our games. You will always see our characters accompanied by their pets - a cat, a dog, a parrot, or even a horse.
When the pandemic lockdown began this spring, our pets were pleased about it. Before that, when we went to the office, it was difficult for them to cope with our absence. Our furballs were bored and missed us all day. Now we're together almost 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! Yay!
However, it can be difficult for cats and dogs to understand why the owners do not pay enough attention to them, even though they're at home. They're used to the fact that we stay at home on weekends in typical times, which means that we are free and always ready to play. And now, access to the owner is, for some reason, limited. What's the matter?
It is difficult to explain to our pets that we work remotely. If you're solving an urgent task and suddenly hear a loud crash in the kitchen - this is how a cat might demand your attention. The dog can become a little depressed, will look at you with sad eyes, as if asking, "When will we finally play together?"
But for some pets, it was generally like this:
Day 1: I'm so glad that you're finally home. Never leave me!
Day 5: Why are you still in my apartment? Please leave!
Day 10: No more excuses! Just go to work! Now!
Indeed, pets are dealing with the terrifying realization that their humans will be at home indefinitely. We interrupt their peaceful naps, sit on their sofas, and generally disrupt their daily routines of important cat/dog business.
Nevertheless, after talking with our employees, we concluded that everyone (both people and animals) has already adapted to the new realities. We've developed a new daily routine and an exact work schedule.
Today we've asked our quarantined colleagues who have pets to tell us what their little friends have been doing lately. Here are their stories:
Nikita (Unity developer):
"My cat likes to sleep on my desk. He doesn't care about the fact that my keyboard is there. Still, I love to work this way because I can pet him at any time, his fluffy plush, silky-soft fur. The cat makes me move more often. When he is hungry, it is impossible to ignore him. So I have to get up to feed my friend."
Bohdan (Campaign manager):
"I feel that we've become closer to my cat during the quarantine period. He makes staying at home fun. He also wakes me up every morning. When he is hungry or needs attention, he just meows, and I have to get up to feed him. My furball also loves sitting on plastic bags from the supermarket. This is why there's a common phrase, "If I fit, I sit."
"I have a cat called Kaisa and a dog Nika. They both support me and sit with me in the same room during working hours. Most often, they sleep. Still, they never miss an opportunity to be stroked or hugged. Nothing alleviates tension, worry, and stress better than my furry friends. Nika also works as a heater: every autumn, my apartment is freezing cold. My dog keeps me warm when she's by my side."
Lesia (Support agent):
"Phoebe (or, as I sometimes call her 'my little potato') is a very caring sweetie-pie. My cat knows better when I need to relax, so she can "accidentally" step all over my keyboard. Of course, it messes up my screen, and it takes me a little bit to get back where I was. At the beginning of the quarantine, Phoebe pushed me out of my chair because she thought it was just her place. Now we've resolved this conflict - I bought her 3 new cushions. Phoebe supports me during the night shifts too. She does not sleep either."
"Nick is a very attentive and understanding dog. He doesn't distract me while I'm working and does not require additional attention. Nick sleeps quietly next to me and keeps my spirits high with his meditative snorting sounds. But as soon as the clock strikes 7:30 PM (I have no idea how he knows about it), he wakes up, runs to me, and looks deeply into my eyes. This means that Nick can't wait to go for a walk."
"My cat Morpheus is jealous of the laptop because it took his place. He is used to lying in front of monitors and keyboards when I sit at the computer. In the evenings, he comes to me and reminds me that the working day is over. He looks at me with his big, adorable eyes to finally get my attention."
Sergey Nor, QA:
"My French Bulldog Chester really motivates me to get up early in the morning. First of all, I need to go for a walk with him. When we return from a walk, he sits next to me and checks what I am doing. Chester sleeps peacefully for most of the day. His snoring calms me down. By the end of the day, he again encourages me to take a walk with him. This is good for Chester and me because sitting in the same position for too long of a time can be exhausting."
"My apartment was not adjusted well to my new work-from-home routine. Therefore, I had to set up a workspace right at my couch. My dog can't sleep anywhere else when I'm on the sofa. First, he innocently asks to stay on the sofa too (Dachshunds have short legs, so he typically can't jump very high off of the ground). I put a pillow, and he climbs. He starts sleeping at my legs. Then he begins to freeze (it's not cold at all - 30 degrees above zero!) and goes downstairs, takes his blanket, pulls it onto the sofa, covers himself, and finally falls asleep. Later, he crawls under my arm. If I try to move, he's growling while sleeping. Of course, from the point of view of cynology, all this is fundamentally wrong. A dog should know his place. But how can you be strict with such an adorable friend?"
Alexander (SQL/.NET developer, R&D):
"I have 4 cats. Marquis, a Scottish Fold cat, is the first and the last one I bought. There is also Murka; I found her in the yard with a serious injury. She turned out to be pregnant, and I had to help her give birth at home. Next comes Vasya, a Norwegian forest cat. He had to be euthanized due to a spinal cord injury. I found out about his story on Facebook and took him home. And the last one is Butterfly. I call her that way because I could not catch her in the yard for a long time. I had to go to the special shop and buy a large net with a long handle."
Oleksandra (Content programmer):
"We have five pets - Doberman Thor, three cats - Sphynx Loki, two previously homeless kittens Pirozhok and Bucks, and the snail Hella. Thor gets jealous when cats sit on my lap. He immediately comes to me to be stroked behind the ears, or on the back and belly. Loki is my favorite cat. I love everyone, but I've just dreamed of a Sphynx cat for a long time. Kittens make him a little nervous. They love to climb up onto the table. Once, while I was distracted for a second, Pirozhok sat on my laptop. My screen went black, and Unity crashed. But I'm glad I rescued them. I got Pirozhok out of the tree when he ran away from the dogs. Then I heard a homeless Bucks meowing outside of my bedroom window. The snail was named after Hela from the Marvel Universe."
Anna (Copywriter, Screenwriter):
"I have two dogs. They make me smile and always brighten up my day during these uncertain times. Of course, it's not always easy to be productive when my friends are begging for attention. We've solved this issue by creating a clear divide between my workspace and the dogs' space. I give them toys and comfortable sleeping places so that they're always engaged on their own while I'm hard at work."
One of our colleagues (Yuriy who is a Unity developer) has used his cats to create an Instagram page that appeals to thousands of viewers! He has become a pet influencer and wants to cat-ify the online world: https://www.instagram.com/catskote/
It doesn't matter if they sit on our keyboards or bark loudly to get our attention, we're glad to have such new 'co-workers'! Scientists from the University of York have shown that pets reduce stress levels during quarantine by almost 90%. We can prove that they help us 100%!
Written by: Anna Naumovych