Understanding Japanese Working Culture

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

    1. Long Working Hours

    Japan is well known as hard working country where citizens put in many hours. This issue is not only a rumor as the average Japanese works at least 9 hours a day. Maybe it is interesting to know why employees are so motivated to work that much.

    It is true that most Japanese people work long hours for the sake of competition. The competition here meaning that their length of working hours will be very a strong factor in whether someone can get a senior level position in the future. In Japan, seniority is still very dominant, and the how long one has been working will affect any promotions.

    2. Drinking with colleagues is a part of work

    Most of you must have heard that Japanese like to go drinking after work. Yes, it is recommended to have a drink with one’s subordinates. From a Japanese perspective, it is believed that if you spend your time drinking with your boss and colleagues, you can have the kind of camaraderie that is not possible to have when working. It will bring a positive change as colleagues will be more honest with each other about any disagreements pertaining to the job.

    3. Seniority Nuance

    As stated before, seniority is still very strong in Japan. At a meeting, normally the members always have a time slot for the most senior person to comment. Other members never disagree with them and always pay attention to what they have to say. When bowing to a senior member, people also bend lower than normally.

    4. Silence is a Virtue

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

    *Featured Image by shashinwithaloha (Don Lawrence) on Instagram
    : shashinwithaloha/