More Japanese companies are hiring four days a week to improve their work-life balance

In accordance with the government’s annual economic policy guidelines aimed at improving the balance of working life in Japan, more Japanese companies have reduced their working weeks from the usual 5 days to 4 days.

Panasonic Holdings Co., Ltd. ADR is the latest company to join Mizuho Bank and UNIQLO operator Fast Retailing (local media) and hire four days a week. Kyodo News Reported on May 3rd.

Yuki Kusumi, CEO of Panasonic, said the company strives to achieve the optimal work-life balance for a diverse workforce. Employees will be able to work side-business on holidays under the new rules of employment.

Japan is known for its strict work structure, and long working hours in the office symbolize strong work ethic. However, in recent years, the so-called “overwork” cases in which employees commit suicide or have health problems have forced the country to consider its working culture.

The government first introduced an optional four-day working week 2021 Economic Policy GuidelinesEncourage businesses to improve their work-life balance by allowing employees to work four days a week, especially for those who care for their families.

Hitachi, a multinational conglomerate in Japan, is one of the organizations that employs an optional four-day work week, allowing employees to schedule their work as long as they meet the required monthly working hours. I can do it.

The pharmaceutical company Shionogi and Company Limited has also allowed its workers to take extra holidays to acquire new skills and network through education and second jobs. Workers four days a week receive 80% of their regular salary.

Hiromi Murata, Principal Investigator at Recruit Works Institute, told Kyodo News, “How to retain skilled employees because it takes time for companies to hire new employees to bring them to the same level. I consider it to be. ” ..

Mizuho Financial Group, Japan’s third-largest creditor, offered a three-day or four-day option to its approximately 45,000 staff, and Microsoft announced its productivity in 2021. 40 percent increase After resting 2,300 Japanese-based employees on Friday.

However, there are concerns about how four-day work week works in Japan. Hisashi Yamada of the Japan Research Institute told Kyodo News that working hours four days a week can complicate personnel management and evaluation.

“For example, if an employee gets a second job, it’s difficult to know how much time the manager is working in total and to evaluate those who take two or three days a week equally. From the staff’s point of view, I don’t want to see the income from my main job diminish, “Yamada said.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Aldograph Redley


Aldgra Fredly is a Malaysia-based freelance writer featuring the Epoch Times Asia Pacific News.