Japan’s hard-working salarymen culture which saw the country becoming infamous for regular stories of its people falling ill due to excessive overtime or even taking their own lives due to stress has finally been taken seriously by the country’s government. As reported by DW, the Japanese government has recently announced its annual economic policy guidelines which now includes recommendations for companies to permit their staff to opt to a four-day work week instead of the usual five.
This move was made by the Japanese government to allow for a better work-life balance in the country by reducing the amount of time employees spend in the office environment. Furthermore, this new policy is also in line with the change of the traditional rigid workplace environment of Japanese corporations following social-distancing regulations brought forth due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Japanese political leaders now hope that this new policy would convince companies to allow for flexible working hours, remote working and that a host of other developments can be beneficial if they remain in place even after the Covid-19 pandemic eventually ends.
The Japanese government in the outline of the new policy said that with a four-day work week, companies can retain capable and experienced staff who might otherwise leave if they are trying raise a family or take care of elderly relatives. Furthermore, this would also allow for more poeple to gain additional educational qualifications or even take on a side job for better income.
An extra day off for employees is also hoped to have a positive outcome for the worsening problem of a falling birth rate in the country, whereby the government hopes that this will make it easier for youths to have more time to meet, marry and have children.
What do you guys think of the Japanese government’s initiative to change the attitude about its rigid workplace cultures? Should such a move be implemented in Malaysia too? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.