Employees are getting more and more stressed in the modern era, and with the retirement age increasing in pretty much every country, it seems like we’ll be working forever. So it’s always positive to hear about companies using their inordinate profits to invest in the health and wellbeing of those who work for them, if only on a performative level.
Japanese company Ferray specialises in IT, and back in the year 2000, it noticed a trend in Japanese businesses. Employees were often working themselves into the ground and suffering from excessive stress due to their work environments and culture. So, head of the firm Hidenobu Fukuda introduced a “kitty policy”, allowing his staff to bring in their own cats at any time.
The staff were ecstatic that their requests had been answered, with one member of the workforce Eri Ito saying “Cats are sleeping just beside us… It’s healing.”
Cats seem like the perfect animal for an office environment, as they don’t require too much attention and, unlike dogs, for instance, don’t need to be taken on walks or kept happy. Cats suit themselves, go where they please, and enjoy sitting back and relaxing. Some even like being stroked, which is sure to calm employees.
However, Fukuda recently took the kitty policy a step further, offering monthly bonuses to staff who rescued cats from shelters and brought them to work. Japan’s shelters and streets are especially overpopulated with cats waiting to be rescued, so this directive not only helps employees but also charities and the cats themselves.
There are some problems with the initiative, however, as Fukuda mentioned that “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.”
Still, it seems that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks, as employee productivity probably makes up for the time lost rebooting computers and redialling phone numbers. There has been no word on whether any employees have allergies that have been affected by the policy.
Would you like to take your cat to work? Let us know in the comments!