Why Japanese work and don’t work


This combined survey and ranking from @nifty into working revealed a few attitudes that were new to me, so hopefully my readers will enjoy it too!

First, less than a third report taking a sickie or slacking on the job; I can understand, perhaps, people not wanting to admit slacking even in an anonymous setting, but in my experience with my employer, who offers more holidays than people can take, I feel that many people find it easier to phone in sick rather than go through the proper channels to request a holiday; I have no data to back this up, though!

I’m not sure if 25% workplace romances is high or low; I suppose it depends on whether or not the majority were affairs or not. I do remember when I joined our work union, at the introductory meeting they reminded everyone that one of their offerings were regular matchmaking-like social gatherings.

Here’s someone sleeping on the job:


Research results

Q1: Which of the following experiences have you had at work? (Sample size=3,016, multiple answer)

Workplace travel73%
Overnight business trip70%
Working late into the night64%
Dozing off during the day47%
Changing jobs42%
Being transferred to a different city, country42%
Skiving off32%
Overseas business trip27%
Workplace romance25%
Blacking out from drinking too much at a company event20%
Early retirement8%
Costing the company money due to my major failure4%
Maternity leave2%
Child-care leave1%
None of the above3%

Q2: Why did you select your current employer? (Sample size=3,016, multiple answer)

Felt I wanted to do the work27%21%
Wanted to do something I love at work22%19%
Easy to commute to from home19%30%
Wanted to make best use of my skills20%22%
Work schedule was good (hours, holiday availability, etc)17%26%
Could see a future for the company19%5%
Got a firm job offer during University recruiting16%11%
Was introduced by family, friends11%13%
Good salary offered12%10%
Thought I could learn a new skill8%6%
Wanted to work with my hands6%6%
Work had a good atmosphere5%8%
Inherited the business from family4%4%
Nothing in particular16%16%

Q3: What reasons would make you want to quit your job or not turn up at work? (Sample size=3,016, multiple answer)

Inter-personal relations42%54%
Work details29%28%
Working hours, overtime22%25%
Physical injury, exhaustion20%25%
Low pay20%21%
Office culture12%13%
Company future13%8%
Just not wanting to work10%11%
Employment system9%10%
Needing to care for family, other home issues8%13%
Being transferred, department change9%5%
Welfare benefits4%6%
Getting married1%10%
Never thought about quitting, not wanting to go to work19%12%

Q4: What do you do to get over feeling of wanting to quit your job or wanting to not turn up at work? (Sample size=3,016, multiple answer)

Nothing in particular, just get on with my job as usual45%48%
Take a holiday to refresh22%24%
Audit my situation, feelings21%23%
Get lost in my hobbies20%18%
Eat, drink something nice15%28%
Investigate changing jobs13%19%
Leave work earlier than usual12%9%
Do some different than usual work12%10%
Discuss matters with friends, family5%14%
Discuss matters with boss, company4%3%
Look into changing jobs4%4%
Change where I work (eg, go to a cafe)4%2%
Start a second job1%2%
Never felt I’ve not wanted to work13%9%

Q5: Which kinds of second job have you done? (Sample size=people who have had second jobs, multiple answer, top ten)

Rank Percentage
1Part-time/casual work (to SQ)9%
2Share dealing7%
3Questionnaire answering6%
5Data entry4%
6Investment trusts4%
7=Point site4%
7=Home working4%
10Foreign exchange2%

Q5SQ: Which kinds of part-time, casual second jobs have you done? (Sample size=people who have had part-time jobs, multiple answer, top ten)

Rank Percentage
1Removals, delivery, etc25%
2Building, joiner, manufacturing,19%
3Tutor, cram school, educational18%
4Restaurant, other retail food-related17%
5Cashier, shelf stocker, etc16%
6Restaurant kitchen, dishwashing, etc13%
7Deskwork (data entry, call centre, etc)11%
8Survey, leaflet distribution, sales9%
9Event, arts-related6%
10Design, publishing, film3%

Q6: Which field of worker would you like to marry? (Sample size=3,016, multiple answer, top seven)

1Government worker24%1Government worker36%
2Nurse17%2Office worker21%
4Kindergarten teacher12%4Engineer17%
5Office worker11%5Researcher16%
6Chef, patissier9%6Lawyer14%
7Cabin attendant9%7Self-employed, businessman12%


Between the 2nd and 8th of September 2016 3,016 members of the @nifty monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. No further demographics were given.

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