Office Cats Bring Serene Work Spaces to Japan
By Heather Callaghan, Editor
Japan does a lot of things right. Just look at the warmth and friendship in the lunch room. Others point out the amount of play allowed in childhood. But Japanese adults are seriously driven. Obviously, drive is a good trait. But sometimes it goes too far in the realm of work or even packing the most elaborate Bento Box lunches in order to be the best.
Although Japan plays host to one of the world’s few Blue Zones – places where large numbers of people live to be over a hundred – they also have a serious problem of people working themselves to death. Literally.  This issue is said to be a result of rebuilding efforts after WW2, but can also be due to economic problems.
So it is not surprising that some Japanese companies are doing whatever they can to ease workplace frustration to help their employees to stay well. Some are even “hiring” office cats to reduce stress.
The trend was started by the Tokyo-based IT company Furray. Hidenobu Fukuda, the head of the company, started a policy of “office cats” in 2000, GNN reports. His office now houses 9 feline employees who hang out and help their non-allergic human colleagues. Employees are encouraged to bring their own cats to work, which help the social kitties, too!
Fukuda also gives out $45 bonuses for any employee who adopts a rescue cat.
Office cats may accidentally cut off a phone call or shut down a computer. But Furray says the employees are “’healed’ by the cats’ paw prints on every page.”
Heather Callaghan is an independent researcher, writer, speaker and food freedom activist. She is the Editor and co-founder of NaturalBlaze as well as a certified Self-Referencing IITM Practitioner.