Japanese electronics manufacturer Panasonic has announced its adherence to the four-day workweek concept. The result of a national effort to reshape the country’s notoriously strenuous work culture, the campaign’s objective is to seek a balance between the professional and personal lives of existing workers and, at the same time, promote the recycling of knowledge and the search for new talent.
As a result, even though few companies have bought into the idea so far, Japanese workers have been working fewer hours than they used to. One data against the traditionally demanding organizational culture is the low gains in labor productivity, which place Japan in a much lower position than its partners in the Group of Seven.
The Osaka industrial group’s decision to offer interested employees a third day off per week was explained to investors in a briefing, in which the group’s CEO, Yuki Kusumi, sums up: “We must support the well-being of our employees.” . according to Nikkei Asia, Panasonic hopes that the measure will give workers more time to develop personal projects, such as volunteering or other work.
How do the Japanese view the four-day workweek?
Source: Pokarin/Wikimedia Commons/Reproduction.Source: Pokarin / Wikimedia Commons
While reducing working hours has sparked growing fascination among employees and employers in Japan, it is estimated that less than 10% of companies in the country have implemented the idea so far, many of them for regulatory reasons, such as some workplaces that pay their employees. employees for days worked. But many objections have come from the workers themselves, who give up the time off so as not to overload their colleagues.
Some companies, such as Yahoo Japan and Sompo Himawari Life Insurance, have already offered a third day off since 2017, initially intended for employees caring for children or elderly relatives. Systems company Encourage Technologies introduced the four-day week to attract young workers who “value their free time”.