Yay or Nay: Japan Proposes a 4-day Work Week

Yay or Nay: Japan Proposes a 4-day Work Week

Early June 2021, the government included in its annual economic policy guidelines the proposal to employers to shorten the working days to 4 days. This would mean a 3-day weekend for every employee! Is it a yay or a nay for you? 


According to the survey of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Japanese take fewer holidays compared to other nationalities belonging to major economies. 


The purpose of the government in urging the employers to shorten the work week is to encourage Japanese employees to socialize more, have more time to care for family and have the opportunity to further their studies or get extra side jobs.


Even before the proposal of the government for shorter work week, companies such as Microsoft Japan is 2019 has already implemented a longer weekend resulting to 40% increase in productivity and relatively lower power consumption in the workplace. Yahoo Japan Corp. was also reportedly implementing a shorter work week for those employees who prove they need it. 


While this proposal has drawn much support from the public, some experts in the labor and management sectors have raised their concerns about possible negative impacts a four-day workweek would bring. They are worried that the increased productivity might not be able to make up for the lost work day. And they also said that some employees are highly concerned about possible pay cuts due to lesser work days.


Japan is known for its rigid and gruelling working environment. Japanese are said to be overworked and mentally drained. 


If you were to decide, would you prefer shorter work days or is the 5-day work week all good?







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