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Tweet of the Week #82: More Remote Work, More Cat Problems

Move kitty, we're trying to work here!

By 4 min read

For many of us, the coronavirus pandemic is changing the way we work. After Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe declared a state of emergency, employers were asked to embrace flexibility and let their employees work from home. Between March and April, the number of people working remotely in Japan increased by 14.7 percent.

It’s a trend that could change Japan’s work culture for good. Companies are finally seeing that long work hours and open offices aren’t good for productivity. On the other, keeping your employees happy with a good work-life balance is a winning bet.

As long as they don’t own a house cat, that is.

Cats are jerks

We love them, but there’s denying that cats know exactly what buttons to push to get their way like knocking stuff off the table, scratching at the bedroom door, and sitting on our laptops. Our furry friends are calculating little monsters who enjoy driving us crazy.

With the number of people working from home increasing, cats now stand accused of yet another evil crime—harassing their owners who are desperately trying to focus on work.

The topic of ねこハラ”, short for 猫ハラスメント (cat harassment), has been trending on Twitter these past weeks. Many remote workers are sharing the hardship of trying to work from home while their kitties fight against it. Knowing that there are nearly ten million house cats in Japan as of December 2019, the issue is quite serious!

Your computer is the perfect cat pillow

Cats are early birds and will make sure to cause trouble before your workday has even started yet.




“It’s a sunny morning.
Nana is ready to start teleworking.”

Anyone who owns a cat knows that moving a nesting cat will result in a bloody hand.

Your printer is also the perfect cat pillow




“It seems like a lot of cats like computers, but for some reason, instead of my computer, Berutan is passionately fighting with my printer. Please stop!”

Even your notebook

Workers aren’t the only victims of excessive attention-seeking cats.



“Today, too, the cat disturbed my daughter. I had not witnessed it, but it seems like the cat is disturbing her every day.”

“My cat prevented me from studying” is the new “my dog ate my homework.”

The box on the desk strategy

The good news is cat harassment is not inevitable! A very simple trick can help you get your work done while keeping your kitty purring with happiness (and, more importantly, not walking on your keyboard).

What do cats love the most? A good old’ box to sit in. Preferably small, comfy, and recycled from a delivery package for our environmentally-conscious kitty.



“If you’re having trouble working from home because your cat disrupts you, you can solve the issue by placing a big box on your desk.”

While @djkomori received hundreds of replies from happy cat owners now able to work in peace, the box trick isn’t 100% full proof. Never underestimate cats’ selfishness to do whatever they want, which is usually the exact opposite of what you’d like them to do.



“I heard that placing a box works well against cat harassment when working from home, but my cat came back on my knees.”

Are you more or less productive with a cat around? Let us know in the comments!

Talking about remote work in Japanese

Before the pandemic provoked a change in the way Japanese companies work, telework was inconceivable for a lot of employers. Only a handful of office workers were given the option to work from home regularly.

Because working remotely doesn’t necessarily equal “working from home,” knowing Japanese key expressions to talk about this topic will come in handy to convince your boss to keep remote work on the table after the state of emergency is lifted.

  • テレワーク : this expression refers to any kind of work done outside of the office
  • リモートワーク: while a synonym of テレワーク, this expression is more frequently used to describe the IT industry’s work style, where workplace and time aren’t as important
  • 在宅勤務ざいたくきんむ: work from home
  • モバイルワーク: remote work from a cafe or a client’s office, or even on the train or plane
  • サードプレイスオフィス勤務きんむ: remote work from a shared office




Japanese Romaji English
ねこハラ, 猫ハラスメント neko hara, neko harasumento cat harassment
テレワーク terewaaku telework
準備万端じゅんびばんたん junbi bantan preparation complete
パソコン pasokon computer
邪魔じゃまする jyama suru disturb, be in the way
何故なぜ naze ka for some reason, somehow
プリンター purintaa printer
闘志とうしやす toushi o moyasu fight with passion
やめてくれ yamete kure please stop!
にゃんこ nyanko cat
こま komaru be troubled, bothered
デスク desuku desk
手頃てごろ tegoro affordable
収納しゅうのうボックス shyuunou bokkusu storage box
解決かいけつする kaiketsu suru solve
zaitakukinmu work from home
対策たいさく taisaku ni measure against
うかが ukagau hear
ひざ hiza knee
モバイルワーク mobairuwaaku work from a remote place (that is not home and not a shared office)
サードプレイスオフィス勤務 saatobureisuofuisu kinmu remote work from a shared office


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