Meet Charlie Brown. Here he is, relaxing in the sun in front of our living room patio door. He’s a Yorkshire Terrier, he turns five years old next month, you can follow him on twitter, and he’s the smartest dog in our family.

Well OK, he’s our only dog. But that’s besides the point. He’s still pretty smart.

I’ve been teaching him about ROWE.

Given that I do at least half my work from home and Charlie lives here too, it’s important that he understands that work is a thing that I do, not a place that I go.

If I’m heading into the office then I make sure I use the language “going to the office” as I’m leaving and I tell him where I’m going (as opposed to “going to work”). I reserve the word “work” to describe why I can’t be disturbed and I’m unavailable for ball throwing or belly rubs or other things that rank highly on Charlie’s list of priorities.

He gets it. If I tell him I’m working then he either goes and amuses himself elsewhere or sits quietly on the sofa in my home-office to keep me company.

Now if only I could make him understand that people on speakerphone are not, in fact, intruders and don’t require barking at then we’d be golden.

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