Feline financial aid system helps contribute to a happier workplace, CEO says.

In addition to their monthly salaries, some office workers in Japan receive various bonuses and allowances from their companies. Housing allowances are the most common, and some employers also offer to cover a certain amount of travel expenses if the employee is on an extended on-site assignment or posting far away home, so that they can come back regularly to visit their spouse and children.

But Ferray Corporation, whose office is located in Tokyo’s Harumi neighborhood, offers something you won’t find at any other company. Each employee is eligible for a supplement to their base pay that’s called neko teate, which translates to “cat compensation.”

▼ Some scenes from Ferray’s office

Ferray was founded 19 years ago, and not long after that one of its employees adopted a rescue cat. The cat started accompanying its owner to work, and it wasn’t long before other employees started acquiring rescue cats of their own.

With more and more cats spending their days in the office, it was plain to see how important these furry companions were to the staff members, and so Ferray introduced a new wrinkle to its compensation packages. Under the neko teate system, employees with a rescue cat receive an extra 5,000 yen (US$46) a month, to help offset the cost of food and other pet supplies.

As for what sort of work Ferray does (aside from oohing and ahhing over their animal officemates), the company specializes in IT development. That, of course, requires plenty of computer equipment, and the presence of so many kitties means a few special measures have to be taken. Barrier fences are in place to keep the cats off of particularly sensitive machinery, and workers are encouraged to unplug or otherwise disable their keyboards when stepping away from their desks, to prevent unwanted feline inputs as the animals walk or lounge across the keys.

The cat-friendly atmosphere isn’t something top management has had to grudgingly acquiesce to either. Ferray’s CEO Hidenobu Fukuda says:

“Every time the cats do something naughty, work comes to a stop. Sometimes we all have a good laugh, and sometimes they cause actual problems, but I think this helps our staff feel closer to each other by having something in common other than our work itself.”

Currently, about a half-dozen cats regularly spend their days in the office, but Fukuda, speaking in his capacity as head of feline resources, says they still have room for more, and the company itself is recruiting graduates for the 2020 Japanese school year (which ends in spring) through its website here.

Related: Ferray
Source: Nitele News 24 via Yahoo! Japan News via Otakomu
Top image: Twitter/@v_ume
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