What do cats and Justin Bieber have in common? Probably a lot of things, but the answer I’m looking for here is “most-viewed videos on YouTube.” But you certainly don’t want your employees wasting time and company resources watching stupid cat videos at work. Or do you?
According to a new study from Japan (of course, the birthplace of Hello Kitty), spending a little time at work looking at cute animal videos can actually improve productivity. Researchers had college students perform tasks requiring concentration, like finding a number in a matrix or playing the game Operation. And—you guessed it—those who were shown pictures of adorable baby animals before starting the task performed substantially better than those who were given pictures of other things, like adult animals or good food. The working hypothesis here is that looking at cute things triggers impulses that not only make humans happier and friendlier, but also improves focus and carefulness. Kind of like the way people act around babies.
Data from the Graduate School of Integrated Arts and Sciences, Hiroshima University
So if you want to invest 17 seconds to sharpen your focus and boost your productivity today, here’s a link to the original Surprised Kitty video (click here
65 million viewers can’t be wrong!
Legal Disclaimer: Consult your organization’s electronic communications policy (you have one, right?) or human resources representative first. Follow all rules and policies. The author and Kansas Employment Law Blog take no responsibility for, and hereby disclaim any liability resulting from, adverse employment actions resulting from the viewing of cute animal videos on company electronic communication devices and/or during company time.