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Japan Work Ethic

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How Role and Seniority Affects the Japanese Work Ethic

In Japanese companies, salarymen generally work longer hours than senior executives. Explore the Japanese work ethic and how it differs based on role and seniority.

The Japanese often refer to themselves as workaholics, but to foreigners, much of the work may seem unnecessary. Compared with companies in the West, offices may even seem overstaffed. But question a job function, and you’re likely to be told that the job can’t be done any other way; this is the way the task has always been performed. Typically, younger salarymen work harder and longer than senior executives, and they may know more about the department than their superiors. Salarymen don’t necessarily spend all day and night in the office. Significant amounts of time are spent entertaining colleagues and clients in an effort to solidify relationships. Learn more about how the work ethic in Japan differs by role and seniority.