No Zangyo Day in Japan

Is a 'No Overtime Day' system necessary at workplaces? graph of japanese statisticsZangyo is the Japanese for overtime, and when it is sandwiched between two English words as in the title of this article it refers to a system that seems surprisingly common, No Overtime Day, a weekly event in my office where people are supposed to go home at five o’clock. This survey from iShare took a look at its implementation.

Demographics

Between the 22nd and 25th of June 2010 429 members of the CLUB BBQ free email forwarding service completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 57.6% of the sample were male, 31.9% in their twenties, 31.0% in their thirties, and 37.1% in their forties.

Today was No Zangyo Day in the office. As I had to go to the hospital this morning I had to work an extra hour and 45 minutes to make up, yet I was still first to leave the office! Our Team Leader announced around about 18:30 that it was No Overtime Day and oughtened we think about going home, which is really about the extent of the implementation for me. However, other groups in the same building are better at going home, and I do notice the train station outside work is busier in the early evening on Wednesdays.
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Nine in ten Japanese workers do overtime

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.
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