02 Dec 4 Reasons Why Japan Has Long Work Hours
Why are Japanese working hours still so extensive? The first target of Japan’s program geared at “social reform work-styles” is to decrease the workweek. The claim that Japanese people labour quite so much isn’t new. For centuries, people have debated how to transform the overworked corporate culture. Initiatives to do so have been attempted at the legislation and government levels. Contract hours, on the other hand, have not dropped in the least.
Further reading: Ikigai: A Japanese Concept to Improve Work and Life
Produce Waste and Inefficient Allocation of Human Capital
Japan is less productive than the OECD average at both the company and macroeconomic levels. Return on equity (ROE), a measure of a company’s performance and profitability, is significantly lower than in Europe and the United States1, implying that they are deploying capital inefficiently compared to their Western counterparts. As a consequence, a fundamental challenge in Japanese governance practices right now is how to increase the effective use of resources.
Japan’s labour productivity is poorer than the OECD average, which means that the output does not match the input of these long working hours. The ineffective use and deployment of human capital is a serious challenge for companies at the global level. There is a built-in inefficiency somewhere in the Japanese work ethic. How can we increase the productivity of our human capital? This is a crucial and important subject for Japan.
Make Harder for people to Balance Work with Private Life
Individuals are multidimensional beings who aspire to grow in a variety of ways, including as employees, close relatives, carers, as well as more. Given the finite nature of time, devoting too much of it to work would result in a loss of leisure. Heavy workload has made it difficult for people to achieve a balance between work and life in current history, and the “populating out” impact of employment on relationships, family responsibilities, and caregiving is a major worry. The issue of lengthy working hours is inextricably related to decreased fertility.
Long Working Hours Impedes the Advancement of Diversity
The historical specialization between the genders, wherein capitalism work became a male-dominated field while home and nonmarket work was left to females (a subject we will return to later), was a major premise behind Japanese-style workplace policies. Long workdays became the norm in man-centred business culture and a mark of devotion and dedication to the organization. This ancient division of labour between men and women is becoming unworkable as women become more involved in market activities. Long working days and overtime are becoming increasingly problematic since they limit women’s ability to participate in the employment market.
Long Work hours Can Stifle Innovation
In an atmosphere where individuals are forced to work excessive days, inventiveness does not occur. The lack of creativity in Japanese businesses is associated with difficulties, but a flexible work culture that allows time to step back and ponder rather than being completely focused on work might be an answer within itself.