Working from home can be beneficial to employees and business owners. Some studies have shown that those who work at home are more productive and get more done. Employees who work from home report less stress and many companies see reduced overhead from allowing employees to telecommute.

But sometimes, home has its own distractions and working productively can be difficult. Having a pet in your home can be one of the detractors of getting work done. This doesn't mean you have to rid your life or your office of the comforts of home. Your pets are part of the family and they live in your home, so it will be natural for them to wander in and keep you company. They don't know the difference between 'office' and 'home'. To them, wherever you are is home.

Medical studies have proven that having a pet in your office causes you to be more relaxed, thereby bringing down high blood pressure and relieving stress. As long as you take a few small steps in setting up your office, you can enjoy your pet and work productively at the same time. Here are 7 things you can do make your home office pet-friendly and work-friendly:

1. Make sure the floor area is free of books, wires and computer equipment. The area under your desk is a cozy spot for a dog or cat and it can also be comforting having the warmth of a pet on your feet. Make sure that area is clear of anything that can be chewed. Putting your computer tower onto your desk or on a table next to the desk will keep it free of animal hair.

2. Exercise and feed your pet before you work. After rising early, it's a good idea to take the dog for a run around the block, come home and feed him. Have your own healthy breakfast and then go to your office. Your dog will be tired from the exercise and will most likely doze most of the morning away. You will then be free to get on with your work without interruption.

3. Try to lower office sounds. If you pet is the nervous kind, put your telephone sound on low or your mobile on vibrate so that only you will hear it. Having your pet go crazy when you are speaking to a client doesn't leave a very professional impression.

4. Buy a hard keyboard cover to keep the cat from trying to type. Allowing a pet to walk on your keyboard can actually cause your computer to crash. Pet hair getting into the crevices can also cause the keyboard to work improperly. So the easiest way is to cover the keyboard when you are not working and to train the cat not to jump onto the desk. You can do this by squeezing a squeaky toy every time he jumps up. He will soon learn that there are horrible sounds up there!

5. Keep your pet healthy. Staying up-to-date on your pet's vaccinations and checkups can save you time while working from home. Caring for a sick pet can be just as much work as caring for a sick child. Having pet insurance can lower some of the costs associated with caring for your pet. Don't enroll in a policy before checking pet insurance reviews online and make sure you're dealing with a reputable, trustworthy provider.

6. Have a pet door installed in your home. By installing a pet door, your cat or dog can go out whenever he or she needs to or wants to without disturbing you. Nothing could be worse than nature's call when you're on a conference call.

7. Make food and water available. Some people prefer to feed their pet at set times during the day, and others allow their pets to eat when they want to. Having food and water available for your pet while you are working will eliminate the need to stop working in order to feed your pet.

Working in a home office actually takes more thought than if you were working outside of the home. Not being interrupted by a constant stream of people or phone calls will help you to accomplish far more than you imagined. The stress-free environment is worth all the money in the world and having your beloved pets with you will keep you living longer and happier.