Japanese people explained! [Chapter 4] Work ethics

image from wikipedia
  1. This friend works almost every day till the last train. She rarely finishes before 10pm. She will stamp her time card out at a reasonable hour, around 6 or 7 pm, so her boss won’t find out that she is working late, but will continue on working till late to finish her project. She was told to cut overtime, because the company wasn’t compliant with the government regulations, which led to her solution to stamp her time card earlier, and continue to work overtime (This is called “Service zangyou- a free overtime given by the employee, and it is a true problem in Japan)
  2. My manager used to commute from Chiba, every day for 2 hours each way. He would be in the office around 8 am (meaning he left his house around 6 am.) This is 4 hours a day spent on the train, 20 hours a week.
  3. Many Japanese expats I met outside of Japan, had no say of which position they wanted, or which country they wanted to live in. Often, they are told 1–2 months before their departure, which country or which position they will be assigned to. One family who lived in Belgium, was supposed to go back to Japan after a 3 years contract. 1 month before their departure, the company said to stay for another 2 years. Then after these 2 years, they were told to move to the US.
  4. Many Japanese hesitate to take paid days off. Normally you get 15–20 days’ paid leave but only 50% were used, according to the studies conducted in 2018. Japan ranked the worst country for taking paid holidays (Expedia research)



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Born and raised in Japan. Lived all over Europe for the past 10 years, and now writing to explain what I know about Japan and Japanese culture.