We all know that pets are known to have many benefits to people. They can help ease stress and calm nerves, lower blood pressure and make your day more enjoyable. One company in Tokyo, Japan, feels this way, too, and to the point where it has allowed employees to bring their cat to work.
The company is Ferray, an IT company, and it has unique way of helping employees deal with the stresses of work each day. Since 2000, it has opened its doors to felines and has had multiple cats during these years, that have rotated in and out of the office, but currently, the company has nine cats that are on the office roster. These nine cats now call the office their home during the day, right along with their owners.
Although the idea was first initiated by one of the company’s staffers, the head of the company, Hidenobu Fukuda, was in full agreement that this is a great idea for his employees, and his company. Fukuda didn’t stop there either. He went above the new idea for allowing cats into his office, and made an agreement to his staffers that whoever rescues a cat, he will give them ¥5,000 a month extra, according to Agence France-Presse.
There are other Japanese companies that are also allowing office pets, aside Hidenobu Fukuda’s. There is an English Sheepdog named Candy that is the greeter and healing ambassador at Oracle Japan, according to the company website. The company acknowledges that they have had a dog in their company since 1991 and Candy is their fourth one. She has also been given a Twitter and an Instagram account and has many followers.
Another company, Pasona Group, brought in two goats in 2011 and later, two alpacas in 2103, and were “hired” for healing intentions, primarily. It is helpful to the employees to be able to de-stress with the help of an animal. For many companies, it brings their productivity level up and makes it a much more enjoyable work environment to have an animal available to interact with.
Cats in the office aren’t without concerns
Despite the positive sides of having cats in the office, they do come with concerns and there is a downside. Cats are notorious for doing their own thing without regard for the humans around them. Ferray works have talked about the downsides to felines around an office environment and they say that the cats have been known to walk on computers and keyboards, shut the computers down by walking over an “off” switch, and cut calls off.
As aggravating as these issues can be, there are also medical concerns and that is for those with allergies. According to The American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, they report that 10% of the population suffers with allergies to animals (pets), and cat allergies rank as twice as high as dog allergies.
It has been said that the better solution would be to try to focus more on a balance of work and life, as opposed to having office cats. Japan is known for being very work-driven and although the government has tried to curtail this tendency to overwork, it still remains a top contender as one of the most rigorous working cultures in the world.
Recent legislation is trying to inspire employers in the country to adapt a more humane workload schedule for their employees, and if this new theory is ever put into place at various companies, the cat-at-work idea may end up being a thing of the past and staffers will have to go back to enjoying their kitties at home only.