The number of Americans working freelance from home is rising steadily. This includes over 5% now calling home their office – according to data released by the U.S. census. There are those making the switch from an office job to the greater freedom of freelancing.
Typical challenges include sticking to a schedule, staying motivated, and setting daily targets to be met. If you really want to boost your performance, one thing you might want to consider, is getting a dog. A 2017 study by Anne Foreman and colleagues has found that they bring many benefits to work. As such, enhanced performance is only one of them!
How Can a Dog Help You Perform Optimally Working Freelance From Home?
The above study showed that some of the effects of working alongside a dog include an enhanced sense of support. It also includes improved performance on tasks at hand. In particular, the research backed previous research. This had established that dogs can reduce stress. In addition, they lower depression and anxiety and enhance work performance when working freelance from home.
Overall, research has shown that pets can often be a powerful source of support. Even more so, at times, than friends and family. In one study, participants had the best results in a mental math test when they had a pet around. Other studies have shown that the presence of a dog reduces cortisol (a stress hormone) significantly more than the company of a human friend does.
Keeping You Active
If you are working freelance from home, one obstacle you could very well face, is the sedentary lifestyle. According to the latest Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data, just 51.7% of Americans meet the national Physical Activity Guidelines with respect to aerobic exercise. Dogs can help, since studies show that dog ownership promotes greater physical activity.
One study undertaken at Michigan State University found that people who owned and walked their dogs were 34% more likely to meet national physical activity requirements than non-dog owners. Dogs prompt you to head outdoors and experience the beauty of nature. This activity, in itself, has a calming effect when working freelance from home. Throw in a breathing exercise into the equation and pulverize stress completely. You can then head back to your home office and give it your all!
Working with Others
Even if you work freelance or you work from home, that doesn’t necessarily mean you work alone. You may work alongside friends or family members (either daily or for specific collaborations), in which case dogs can help too. A study published in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management found that dogs can enhance workers performance and satisfaction owing to specific dog-related communication between people in a workplace.
By reducing stress and getting us to talk to each other, dogs can lower tension and enhance better working relationships when working freelance from home. Even if you work alone, however, having a dog can be of great benefit by boosting your performance. It also decreases cortisol levels, and encourages you to head more into the great outdoors. Just think of your dog as the best colleague you could ever have. One that will always be by your side, come rain or shine when working freelance from home.
Author: Jane Edwards – Freelance Writer