Do You Want To Be More Productive? Look at Cats.
Research suggests that office managers may want to scatter some cat pics around the workspace.
Everybody likes cats, right? The Internet is awash with all things feline; videos, memes, celebrity cats… who hasn’t heard of Grumpy Cat, or Henri le Chat Noir? Even Cecil was a cat, for goodness sake.
Here’s the conundrum: Cats are jerks. Undeniably so. They’re the JR Ewing of popular Internet culture and homes everywhere. They’re manipulative, self-serving, and have perfect little freeze-frame evil grin cliff-hanger faces.
Maybe the one you know is more like Dexter Morgan. All happiness and family values façade, while in a secret life torturing and dissecting other creatures, bringing body parts home just to watch you squirm. Funny, lovable little malevolent beast from hell.
And yet, a few years ago, a study by Japanese researchers showed that looking at pictures of baby animals – especially cute cats, we presume – improved productivity. No, really.
The study was titled “The Power of Kawaii: Viewing Cute Images Promotes a Careful Behavior and Narrows Attentional Focus,“ conducted by Japanese scientists Hiroshi Nittono, Michiko Fukushima, Akihiro Yano and Hiroki Moriya. They asked 48 students to play a simple game after they were shown photographs. Some were shown adult dogs and cats, some shown tasty food like steak or sushi. They didn’t do much better.
But the people who were shown puppies and kittens? “Far and away, productivity was best in the first condition,” The Washington Post reported. “This was true across both genders participating in the experiment.”
So cute kittens and puppies… except maybe less so puppies, because, well, dogs (being who and what they are) are less popular overall on the net. While dog lovers swear by their “friends”, it’s possibly scientific fact (and by scientific I mean because I said so), that you’ll have better results using the kitten option. Amy-Mae Elliot of Mashable has explored this previously: 
“Dogs are the equivalent of a creative professional trying to manufacture ‘the next viral sensation’ to advertise a brand – sure, they’ll have a hit now and again, but unless it’s really exceptional work, you’ll just ignore it, because you know they’re doing it to get your attention,” says Shepherd.
“When a dog gets in a box, it’s because he desperately wants you to think he’s cool. When a cat does it, it’s because it suddenly felt like the right thing to do at the time. More often than not, it totally was. I think it’s the very aloofness of cats that makes us want to caption their thoughts, or put them in front of a keyboard and see what happens. The many Keyboard Dogs were a failure not just because they came second, but because they were enjoying themselves far too much.”
So, office managers, it’s time to make the office all cute and fuzzy… the science and the bottom line demand it.