Some people just can’t get enough of those cute images and videos the internet has amassed of tiny baby animals for all of us to ooh and ahh over. Many of us find ourselves sneaking a peak of all the adorableness during working hours, which can lead to dirty looks from co-workers or even a scolding form the boss. But science may have our backs here, with a new study suggesting that viewing cute kitten videos can actually improve performance in the workplace.
Time magazine reports about the new research from Japan’s Hiroshima University that finds workers improved certain skills directly after viewing images of puppies and kittens. Interestingly, viewing adult cat and dog images did not have the same effect.
The main enhanced skill workers exhibited after viewing the cute baby animal videos, was more focus and dexterity especially when given the task of playing the children’s game Operation which relies of agility.
So why does all this adorableness make us better able to perform certain tasks? Researchers believe viewing baby animals may trigger an emotional “care-taker” response that signals us to be more careful and take our time to ensure accuracy.
The infant-like appearance of baby animals probably gives us feelings of warmth and remind the brain to function in a more attentive and nurturing way. How this translates in the work-place setting is that workers will probably put more care and attention towards their tasks at hand after viewing cute kittens snuggling in a basket. Authors from the study explain, “The present study shows that perceiving cuteness not only improves fine motor skills but also increases perceptual carefulness.” Also noting that these images may be useful to “induce careful behavioral tendencies” in “specific situations, such as driving and office work.”
What do you think of the new study that suggests viewing cute images of puppies and kittens in the workplace can help to improve workplace performance?
Do you ever view baby animal images on the internet at work? Are you better focused afterwards?