By on September 25, 2010

When you took the Tokyo subway between 10 and 11 pm, it used to be full of dozing salarymen who just got back from work. Putting in long hours just was the Japanese way. Some put in an evening shift somewhere else, and came home at 11, sighing “tough day at the office.” Not anymore. Many companies, Toyota one of them, put in an overtime ban. Hubby-san suddenly had to come home early. As a further sign that the crisis is behind us, longer working hours are back.

Toyota has lifted a rule prohibiting office employees from working overtime, says The Nikkei [sub]. Some 20,000 workers in sales, accounting and other administrative jobs can again adhere to the Japanese tradition of working late.

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8 Comments on “Toyota Lifts Ban On Working Late...”

  • avatar

    does overtime mean overtime pay? and how much? 150%?
    i would think salaried employees who don’t get OT pay, always are allowed to work as many hours as they want, since pay stays the same.

    • 0 avatar

      It highly depends on local labour laws: sometimes no one can work those kinds of hours, sometimes it’s only non-management that cannot.  Sometimes it’s whatever you get asked to do.
      Personally and professionally I feel it’s a bad idea.  I know that in my days as a young P/A my work went straight to hell after a few days on a bender.  I’ve seen studies (including a few wonderful ones out of the US military and several good ones out of automobilia) that make a point of required downtime intervals to reduce error rates and, thusly, overall cost.
      You know what’s horrible?  Save for a few sub-colleges (eg, Canadian Anaesthesiologists), medicine has a distinct lack of such a system.  And this isn’t just front-line interns: surgeons of all disciplines,  nurses, pathologists.  Heck, even midwives do it.  In Japan it’s “different”, but this behaviour in North America is a kind of professional hazing: it’s “since I had to do it, you’ll have to as well”

  • avatar

    Japanese receive a 25% overtime premium and they do get paid for it. They also receive anywhere from 3-6 months’ pay as an annual bonus, depending on how well the company is doing.

  • avatar

    In Japan, salaried employees (but not managers) will generally get overtime pay.  That’s why many companies have limited overtime in the past few years, either altogether or just allowing it a few days a week.

  • avatar

    Where I used to work, the upper management would intentionally give tight time lines as an incentive to work extra hard on projects to get them done as quickly as possible.  If we missed our time line, we had to stay late or come on weekends to finish. Unpaid, of course.   When we came through with the work, upper management would take themselves to a 3 hour lunch.  The employees had to wait until Christmas time for a company paid “thank you”.  Needless to say, I left that job after a few years.
    There is nothing wrong with overtime, but it should be paid, or at the very least, comp time should be offered.  Those who abuse the OT should be fired.  I just don’t understand the “be grateful you have a job” BS.

  • avatar

    Is the guy in the picture actually alive?

  • avatar

    Here the law says overtime pay is 50% over normal rate. And it’s limited, no more than 10 hours/week and 100 hours/year.
    No, the limits aren’t enforced strongly, and they were intended to encourage employment.
    I worked overtime for about 2 years, even weekends, almost all of them. At the second year, the company decided that they were going to pay us supervisors the Saturdays, but not the Sundays nor during week.

  • avatar

    That picture is priceless.  Though you can’t see her face, the poor woman to the right, clutching her purse, with the Salaryman sprawled out left and right.  Classic.

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