I think we could all use a little bit of levity. In full disclosure, Izzy is my 13-year-old Pug. She is deaf and blind, yet loyal and loving. Zoom is our meeting place of choice, and I am one of those people who thoroughly enjoy seeing my clients and colleagues in their home, with a droopy dog’s face on the desk, a naked little boy streaking past an office door (true story), and a Roll Tide banner in the background.

Izzy is unfazed by this change in our work and social lives. She is teaching me a lesson without saying a word. Here are 5 things I learned from my (home) office mate Izzy:

1.Keep a schedule.

Izzy has a plan, ok, it is an eating schedule none-the-less. She is religious about snack time, lunchtime, and dinner/quitting time. We should do the same. If you were at work, you would eat lunch at the same time, take a walk. Please do it. What’s stopping you?

2. Order, not chaos.

Pugs are very peaceful but creatures of habit. Izzy fluffs her blankets in the morning and settles in for a good day’s ‘work.’ Enter your home working space as if you just arrived at your ‘normal’ office. Set yourself up for the day and begin. Don’t overthink it, just be.


Are you getting the message?


3.Take a break.

Nature calls, and Izzy soaks up the sun for a few extra minutes. She senses a nearby bunny rabbit but dismisses the thought of expending the energy. Izzy need creates a break for me too. The weather is lovely here in the Capital District, so take that extra moment to get some sunshine. You don’t need Izzy to enjoy the fresh air.

4. Huddle up.

Izzy is my only office mate, but years ago, I had two poodles, Nikki and Sukki. They were buds, and after they ‘did their thing’ separately, they huddled up and together found peace and relaxation in that small dog bed. My version? I have a squad. Yup, Rita, Sabrina, and Lauren. We keep each other up and running, virtual hugging when needed, and a lifeline when things get crazy. Find your squad and huddle up. You will be better for it.

5. Take a vacation/staycation.

Izzy is retired, so the vacation option does not apply, but I am telling you, time off comes in many shapes and is beneficial. As mentioned before, take a walk. Read a good book on your front porch, deck, or lazy chair and choose a book that will ‘take you away’ for a while. Email me, and I will share some great titles with you.


I hope this post made you smile. The picture you see is Izzy in all her glory. Let’s be a little more like an office mate some days, and the boss will be happier, healthier, and more productive.


Happy Slacking,

Karen Lombardo is the founder of Put Another Way LLC. Karen has been creating websites and relevant content for businesses for over a decade. The company culture is relaxed, our office mate is an old Pug named Izzy, and our philosophy is to listen first, create later.


Author’s note: I originally wrote this post for the Capital Region Chamber of Commerce Women’s Business Council. Please visit their website to learn more about this organization. (They do great things.) In the meantime, enjoy the post!

If you are like most people, the pandemic has skewed your sense of date and time. WebMD posted an article on May 7, 2020, titled, Today is Blursday: How Lockdown Warps Time. The author, Brenda Goodman, MA, hits the nail on the head:

If it feels like all your internal clocks are melting as your stay-at-home days drone on, you are not alone. Researchers say that people in various levels of COVID-19 lockdown around the world are reporting a distorted sense of time.

Some people say they feel as if their days are sped up and flying by, while others sense that time has slowed to a crawl. An event that happened just weeks ago feels like something that happened years ago. Read more

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