Ferray, an IT firm in Toyko, has a unique cure for work stress: since 2000, the company has been host to a revolving roster of office cats. Currently, nine felines call the office home during the day.
The policy was introduced by request from a staffer, but Hidenobu Fukuda, the head of the company, is fully on board.
“I also give ?5,000 a month to those who rescue a cat,” he told Agence France-Presse.
The Japan Times notes that Ferray isn’t the only Japanese company to endorse office pets:
At Oracle Japan, an Old English Sheepdog named Candy works as a “greeting and healing ambassador,” according to the company website.
The company said it has had an office dog since 1991, and Candy, the fourth one, now has Twitter and Instagram accounts.
Meanwhile, Pasona Group “hired” two goats in 2011 and two alpacas in 2013 as full-time employees, partly for healing purposes.
Cats in the Office Aren’t Without Complications
The main downside to having feline coworkers, according to Ferray workers? They don’t care about your foolish human deadlines.
“Sometimes a cat will walk on a phone and cut off the call, or they shut down the computers by walking on to the off switch,” Fukuda said.
Of course, there’s one other obvious problem with having cats in the office: allergies. The American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology reports that about 10 percent of the population are allergic to pets — and cat allergies are twice as common as dog allergies.
A simple solution might be to focus more on work-life balance than perks like office cats. Japan’s work culture is famously rigorous, despite attempts on the part of the government to discourage overwork. If recent legislation inspires employers to encourage more humane work schedules, employees could get their daily dose of cat cuteness at home.
Then again, it’s hard to argue with a corporate policy that might possibly produce this:
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