Feline good: Cats counter stress at firms in Tokyo
Workaholic Japan is known for long office hours and stressed out employees, but one company claims to have a cure, and that are cats. A total of nine fluffy felines eat, sleep and walk freely in the small office of IT firm in Tokyo.
An office cat policy was introduced in the organisation in 2000, upon the request from one of the employees, allowing staffers to bring their moggies to work. “I also give `2,912 a month to those who rescue a cat,” says Hidenobu Fukuda, the head of the firm.
Other Japanese companies are also allowing animals in the office to help reduce stress and anxiety. At a famous firm in 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, another group has hired two goats in 2011 and two alpacas in 2013 as full-time employees, partly for healing purposes. Tokyo is also home to some 60 registered cat cafes, thanks to a growing number of feline lovers. An employee, named Eri Ito says, Cats are sleeping just beside us... It’s healing.”
But there is also a downside to having felines in the office, Fukuda admits. “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,” he says.