The popular image of Japanese companies is that they don’t care about individual workers’ well-being. Horror stories of unreasonable workloads and limitless overtime breaking employees both physically and mentally have their roots in societal values that prioritize group success over individual enjoyment. And it’s true that, comparatively speaking, Japanese companies tend to work their employees harder than their counterparts in most other developed economies.
But that shouldn’t be taken to mean that each and every boss in Japan is a remorseless slave driver. As proof of that is a recent photo taken by Japanese Twitter user @the_folkees. Though many companies in Japan have instituted telecommuting options during the coronavirus crisis, the nature of some jobs don’t allow for them to be done remotely, and that seems to be the case for @the_folkees. To show their gratitude, the management has given employees a thank-you letter, plus a really nice thank-you present.
The paper reads:
Coronavirus Countermeasure Support Funds
Thank you very much for making the difficult effort of meeting with clients and going to job sites every day, even as the coronavirus crisis is ongoing. We are providing support funds to be used for the reasons listed below.
To show our appreciation for your hard work for our company during this unsettling period.
- To aid you in purchasing coronavirus preventive supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer, which have been rapidly rising in price.
3. Because good health requires taking proper care of bout your physical and mental condition, please use this money to purchase groceries to cook, rent videos to watch, or otherwise make your time at home more enjoyable.
In difficult situations like the current one, let’s all keep looking ahead to better things to come."
Definitely a nice, positive message, and as proof that it’s not just empty talk, include with the letter was 30,000 yen in cash. “This is how my company is dealing with the coronavirus,” tweeted @the_folkees in a matter-of-fact manner, but other commenters were even more gushing in their praise.
“You work with some really great people.”
“’Hey everybody.’ You can just feel the friendliness.”
“I like how they’re not just throwing money at a problem, but really thought about how the funds could help their workers.”
“If I worked in a company like that, I’d stay there for my whole career.”
“The company is going to get benefits in loyalty that are worth much more than what they had to spend.”
“You guys hiring?”
Mixed in with the praise for @the_folkees’ company were a handful of snickers at the suggestion to “rent some videos,” since physical media rental stores in Japan are rapidly disappearing as consumers quickly move to online flat-fee streaming services. Really, though, that makes the funds all the more heartwarming, because even though the company doesn’t know exactly how @the_folkees and his coworkers will spend it, they still want to do what they can to make their time at home waiting out the coronavirus crisis a little less unpleasant.
Source: Twitter/@the_folkees via Jin
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