Can affectionate cats increase your productivity? While reading the Washington Post a few days ago, I ran across an article that said another cat cafe was going to open in the Washington D.C. Metro area. My curiosity got the better of me, and I began searching for more articles about cat cafés, and to my surprise, it is a growing trend. Cat cafés are popping up in larger cities around the world like Tokyo, London, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego and more. According to Buzzsumo.com, the most shared article after typing in the keyword productivity, is a company who filled their offices with cats in Tokyo.
Stress levels have been lowered, and communication has increased in the workplace since the introduction of 9 cats. Despite some of the feline mischief, employees are happy with their new tenants. The internet solutions company also offers a cat bonus for anyone who adopts a cat. Cat cafés have been around for the last 20-25 years, mostly in Asia, but in the last year have been popping up in the United States. New York will be launching its second café sometime this month where patrons can pay an entry fee, have a beverage, and enjoy the company of a feline friend. Cat cafés might sound silly to some, but it is an opportunity for those who cannot own a pet, too. These cafés allow individuals to enjoy the affection of an animal, and the animal is also shown love from a person, instead of spending their days in a shelter.
Benefits of Pets in the Work Place
So, what does this have to do with productivity? A study by Central Michigan University found that having a dog as a companion in the workplace resulted in the employee being ranked higher on evaluations. But, a survey by American Pet Products Association found that only 17% of U.S. Companies permit pets at work, and 23% of Americans feel they should have their companions with them.
Here are just some of the benefits that employees experience by allowing pets in the workplace:
- Makes people happier
- Reduces stress
- Leads to a more creative environment
- Decreases absenteeism
- Coworkers cooperate better
- More productive environment
- Reduced smoking
- Able to work longer hours
There is not much research on this topic, and I am sure in the next few years we will start to see more empirical studies. But, I do know that animals have been used in physical therapy for many years in the medical field. You also have to wonder why the zoo is such an attractive place that brings happiness to everyone who goes. Being around cats and other animals more often could be just the thing that your productivity and happiness levels need. Change things up, and see what a difference it can make in your life.