Understanding the Japanese Working Culture and Environment

  • Most people know that Japanese working culture is hard in terms of amount of working hours and attention required to details. If you want to get a job in Japan or work in a Japanese company in your country, make sure that you understand the culture and environment beforehand.

    1. Long working hours

    The Japanese have been well known as hard working people who put in many hours. This issue is not only a rumor as average Japanese works at least 9 hours a day. Maybe it is interesting to know why the people are so motivated to work that much.
    It is true that most of the Japanese people work long hours for the sake of competition. The competition here means, their length of working hours will be very determinant for the appointment to the more senior level. In Japan, seniority is still very dominant. The length of their working time will affect their promotion.

    2. Drinking with colleagues is a part of work

    Most of you must have heard that the Japanese like to drink after the workday. Yes, it is recommended to have a drink with your subordinates. From Japanese perspective, it is believed that if you spend your time drinking with your subordinates brings a relaxation that is not possible to have when working. It will bring a positive change as the subordinates will be more honest with each other about any disagreements pertaining to the job which they seem to agree about at the office.

    3. Seniority nuance

    As I mentioned, seniority is still very strong in Japan. The culture values its elders for the wisdom. At a meeting, normally the members always have a time slot for the most senior person to comment. Other members never disagree with him and always pay attention to him. When bowing to a senior, people also bend lower than normally.

    4. Silence is a virtue

    Japanese working environment is normally quiet and focused. Being too much of an extrovert can be considered a bad attitude. Do not say your disagreements directly and openly. Keep any situation quiet and don’t ask your colleagues to chat too frequently.