Did you know: People work such long hours in Japan that they “die by overwork”
Facts about Japan : Japan’s work culture is intense, and more than 20% of the workforce work at least 80 hours of overtime every month (or 20 hours a week, or 2.5 workdays a week over and above 5 weekdays. Effectively, they are working 7.5 work days a week, so you may consider yourself lucky and not dislike your 9-5 job any longer). Juniors are expected to arrive early in the office and stay late, often till midnight. Many young executives don’t even get to see their families on weekdays, having spent most of the day at work. This intense work pressure has triggered many incidents of workers committing suicide or suffering heart failure, stroke or such fatal stress-related diseases.
Japan has its own word to refer to people dying due to intense work pressure: “karoshi“. First death due to Karoshi was reported in 1969, and many more deaths of high ranking executives were reported in the 1980s. Sadly the trend of overtime is still on, and the latest case being reported in October 2017 where a 31 year old media worker died after working 159 hours overtime a month (source). Japan is now trying to work out many solutions to address this perennial problem and some companies have now started bringing variety to their daily work routine. Workers are often given breakfast if they have to arrive early, and they are allowed to leave early on the last Friday of the month.Government has also propose to cap overtime hours at 100 hours a month (I know you must be raising your eyebrows, not believing the figure, But sadly 80-100 hours in Japan is a norm). Will these measures help resolve the “real” work culture & employer expectation problem in Japan? Only time will tell. Facts about Japan!
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