How many hours do Japanese work a week?
- conley39Lv 72 months ago
8 hours a day, or 40 hours a week, is allowed by law.
- Never-AgainLv 72 months ago
It depends where in Japan, and what kind of company. There is work that is productive, and then there is work that is more time wasting and showing the boss how loyal and dedicated you are. If you have someone who does the same work in 8 hours and then goes home, as someone who does it in 12, the latter person is often looked at more favorably.
Things are changing at some places, while more conservative places, the forced free overtime is still largely expected.
- QuinnLv 62 months ago
Depends on what you mean by work and whether you mean the official hours or the actual hours, and also what period in Japanese history you refer to.
Under current Japanese labor law, the working hours are limited to 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week. But in reality, no one actually works just those hours - they work longer hours than that. However, the actual hours worked is generally less than before the 40/week work rule because 90 hours/week and more were not uncommon and led to several cases of Karoshi (過労死, Karōshi) where people literally worked themselves to death. I would consider that "a lot".
In Japan as well as other countries, there is the law and there is reality and they often are not the same. In Japanese society, an employee who leaves at quitting time even when having finished all of their work is considered lazy and disloyal. But staying behind also does not mean they are actually doing any productive work. It is also considered equally bad if you leave work before your boss leaves. This is an unwritten rule, but you are expected to obey it if you want any chances of promotion or advancement not to mention a pay raise.
The last few decades has seen little change in attitudes towards work in Japan even though the Japanese government has tried to force more employees to take days off or leave early. For example, the government tried to persuade Japanese to leave work at 3PM on the last Friday of a month, but less than 4% of Japanese actually did so.