Stress sucks, but cats have the power to bring us back from the edge of stressed-out breakdowns. One company in Japan understands this simple fact and has employed cats to help employees keep calm on the job.
Japan has become known for its obsessive work culture, even terming death caused by work as karoshi. These “deaths by overwork” are caused by high-stress attacks like cardiac events and strokes. And as “one in ten Japanese workers clock over 100 hours of overtime each month”, blood pressures certainly run high in the Japanese population. But cat lovers know cuddling cats lowers blood pressure.
The Ferray Corporation, a Tokyo-based IT corporation, understands the stress its employees face. And, to help bring about a sense of calm and well-being in the office, the boss brought in rescue cats.
The idea of filling the office with cats started nearly twenty years ago when an employee asked the company head, Hidenobu Fukuda, if it would be okay to bring a kitty buddy to work. Fukuda agreed. Since then, he’s seen calmer employees whose productivity levels are sky-high.
For workaholics who spend more time at work than at home, having cats in the office is a great thing. Those working long hours don’t have the ability to have cats at home as they would spend too much time away from furry family. This way, even cat lovers who work long hours can give cats love and a happy life while at work.
With Fukudu’s idea proving good for employees and profitable for business, other companies in Japan have adopted the model of a cat-friendly office. It’s a win for everyone, including cats in need of a home.
From the Shelter to the Office
At any given moment, there are at least nine cats wandering the offices of Ferray. These nine were rescued from local shelters and they welcome any of the employee’s cats who spend the day at the office too. In fact, Fukuda encourages employees to adopt a cat from one of Japan’s crowded shelters if they haven’t already.
Fukuda reported, “I also give 5,000 yen ($45) a month to those who rescue a cat.”
This incentive had helped to inflate the population of felines in the office and everyone is much happier for it. After all, who doesn’t feel great being surrounded by purrs and whiskers!
And while cats lower blood pressure and motivate humans, there are some issues arising from the corporate cats. Fukuda said, “Sometimes a cat will walk on a phone and cut off the call, or they shut down the computers by walking onto the off switch.”
But these cat lovers surely understand the perils of life with cats. Hopefully, the Ferray employees get a good laugh from the kitty antics, which in turn makes them happier at their jobs.