Nine in ten Japanese workers do overtime

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Would you want to be paid for your overtime? graph of japanese statisticsThis recent survey from iShare into overtime turned up quite a lot of data that to me as a westerner seems unbelievable, but as a worker in a Japanese firm I find it not really that unusual.

Demographics

Between the 23rd and 26th of February 2010 451 members of the CLUB BBQ free email forwarding service completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 56.1% of the sample were male, 31.7% in their twenties, 32.8% in their thirties, and 35.5% in their forties.

My overtime has actually increased since last year, despite work introducing measures to reduce working hours! The people targeted were those doing 60 hours a month overtime, but as the measures replaced a nominal 18 hours overtime in the monthly salary with an explicit measure, I now do 20 hours to try to make up for the loss in salary. Despite these measures people still work far too long but just lie on their timesheets, so my employer (note, not the union!) is actively trying to get people to go home earlier.

Research results

Q1: Are you currently in employment, including part-time, short-term, etc? (Sample size=451)

  All Male
N=253
Female
N=198
Yes (to SQ1) 76.9% 81.4% 71.2%
No 23.1% 18.6% 28.8%


Q1SQ1: Do you do overtime? Answer according to the frequency rather than length. (Sample size=347)

  All Male
N=206
Female
N=141
Often (to SQ2) 54.2% 63.6% 40.4%
Occasionally (to SQ2) 33.7% 26.2% 44.7%
Never 12.1% 10.2% 14.9%


Q1SQ2: Compared to last year, how has your number of overtime hours changed? (Sample size=305)

  All Male
N=185
Female
N=120
Increased 28.5% 27.6% 30.0%
Not changed 44.6% 42.2% 48.3%
Decreased 26.9% 30.3% 21.7%

Q2: If you were working somewhere that didn’t pay overtime, would you want to be paid? (Sample size=451)

  All Male
N=253
Female
N=198
Definitely 74.3% 70.8% 78.8%
If possible 22.0% 24.1% 19.2%
OK if I didn’t get paid 3.8% 5.1% 2.0%

Q3: If you were working somewhere that stopped paying your overtime, would you request payment from your workplace? (Sample size=451)

  All Male
N=253
Female
N=198
Definitely 47.0% 42.3% 53.0%
Perhaps 32.2% 33.2% 30.8%
Perhaps not 15.5% 17.4% 13.1%
Definitely not 5.3% 7.1% 3.0%

Q4: Regardless of the length or details of the work, do you think overtime itself is necessary at work? (Sample size=451)

  All Male
N=253
Female
N=198
Necessary 62.1% 67.6% 55.1%
Unnecessary 37.9% 32.4% 44.9%
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  1. November 15, 2011 @ 09:31

    [...] in Japan’s morning-to-midnight corporate culture where nine out of ten respondents in a recent survey routinely put in overtime. While the power shortages in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami [...]

  2. November 15, 2011 @ 11:04

    [...] in Japan’s morning-to-midnight corporate culture where nine out of ten respondents in a recent survey routinely put in overtime. While the power shortages in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami [...]

  3. November 15, 2011 @ 14:28

    [...] in Japan’s morning-to-midnight corporate culture where nine out of ten respondents in a recent survey routinely put in overtime. While the power shortages in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami [...]