How my 'pandemic puppy' helped my work-life balance

Brianna Paton

Stevie 2

While everyone else was panic buying toilet paper, flour and hand sanitiser back in April, I decided to buy myself a ‘pandemic puppy’. Stevie is a black Cockalier (Cocker Spaniel cross Cavalier), and it was love at first sight when we met him.

Our team are all a little bit dog crazy, we often have a cameo on our team calls from one of our pets and used to love when we had an office dog for the day.

I’d always wanted my own dog, but with work commitments and some long days in the office, I knew it just wasn’t fair, dogs needed more time and attention than my life before COVID allowed.

Once the iknowho team all started working from home, it gave me the flexibility needed to have the time for a puppy, and I’ve actually found Stevie has helped me add more structure to my day.

When working from home it’s easy to be continually “on”, and I have worked out a good routine around Stevie where I get more fresh air and am actually more productive between the breaks I have to take him outside. We go for a walk and get a coffee before I log on in the morning, I have a proper break to take him out again at lunch, and I try to finish work on time so I can take him out for a long evening walk.

There have definitely been some challenges – Stevie sometimes wants to join in my Zoom calls with clients and candidates, and once he got through the cute new puppy stage of sleeping most of the day, he quickly turned into a ball of energy that demanded more of my time and attention. Once he graduated puppy school and mastered toilet training it made my life a little easier!

If you’re feeling a little isolated and missing the connection with your colleagues because you’re working from home, and are finding yourself with the time you never had before to look after a pet, I’d highly recommend looking into buying or adopting a dog.

Dogs are proven to be great for your mental health by decreasing stress levels and your physical health from all the extra exercise you get, which results in you having a better work-life balance. Plus they absolutely LOVE having all this time to spend with you! 

Meet the dogs of iknowho, Stevie, Baci, Teddy and Molly