Japan Today

Japanese workers reveal 8 most astonishing things new employees do in workplace

By Oona McGee, SoraNews24

In Japan, companies are inundated with new recruits in April, at the beginning of each fiscal year. Dressed in their uniforms of white shirts and black suits, these “freshers” as they’re known in Japan, have had six months to settle into their jobs so far this year, and with that in mind, Japanese cross-marketing group D&M decided to take a look at how they’re integrating into the workplace with an online survey.

The survey asked 9,000 men and women over the age of 20 nationwide to answer the following question: “What are some of the things new recruits do that you’ve found astonishing or shocking?”

Let’s take a look at the results below.

8. They make company equipment their own private property

While taking a paper clip or a pencil home with you is one thing, according to the results of the survey, some new hires feel no shame in laying claim to more significant stockpiles, wiht several people commenting on the fact that they’ve seen new workers go up to the copy machine and take piles of paper home with them.

7. They nod off

In Japanese workplaces, employees slot into hierarchical kohai (“junior”) and senpai (“senior”) roles, which are vitally important in maintaining good working relationships. Given that it’s easy to get sleepy after lunch or in a hot office, it’s not unusual to see some senior employees nodding off at their desk during the day, but for a new employee, who’s at the very bottom of the hierarchy, nodding off during the day is a big no-no. One respondent recalled the moment he and his colleagues had to go searching for a new hire who went to the toilet and didn’t return for two hours. Sure enough, when they found him, he was fast asleep on the toilet in the restroom on another floor.

6. Instead of using the phone they use apps like Line to communicate

Sure, technology has progressed rapidly over the years, but that doesn’t mean you can use a messaging app like Line to communicate in the workplace. Some respondents say they’ve been shocked when new workers text messages via Line to let their superiors know they won’t be coming in to work. According to workplace etiquette, messages like this need to be conveyed over the phone, leaving Line for use amongst friends only.

5. Their actions are puzzling

Young employees are said to do some weird things in the workplace, including things that are so taboo you’d think they should know better. One respondent said he totally lost it when he was giving advice to a newbie and they started eating a pack of candy right in front of him. Another gripe is the fact that a lot of new recruits act nonchalant when they’re late, saying things like “The train was delayed, but I left home on time so I wasn’t late, the train was late.”

4. Their excuses for things are mind-boggling

While many people appreciate honesty, when it comes to explaining reasons for being late or taking the day off, sometimes honesty isn’t always the best policy. One new hire told her superior she wouldn’t be able to come in to work because she broke up with her boyfriend, while another said he couldn’t meet his deadline because he had to spend more time out at lunch after it it took a while for him to receive his lunch order.

3. They’re late or absent from work without notice

This is one that is likely to enrage people, no matter what country you’re from. In Japan, where people usually don’t take all their annual leave out of politeness and concern for the rest of the group, tardiness and absenteeism is not easily forgiven, especially when it’s accompanied by a lack of notice or concern.

2. They don’t do greetings

Another thing that’s incredibly important in Japanese culture is the act of greeting one another, particularly when you’re in the kohai position. Drilled into them from a very young age, students are instructed to give a loud and lively Ohayoo gozaimasu (“Good morning”) or Konnichi wa (“Good day”) to teachers and superiors. In the workplace, this type of behaviour is also expected, and will always put you in the good books with your colleagues, but many new recruits seem to forget their manners, which gets on everyone’s nerves.

1. Their expressions

At number one on the list of astonishing behaviours of new recruits is the types of expressions they use. While it might be okay to shorten words like arigato gozaimasu (“Thank you”) to zamaasu while out with your friends in a causal setting, some new employees shock everyone at work by using this slang to their superiors and section heads. No matter how easygoing your senpai is, in a Japanese work environment, respect and formalities like a nice, polite “thank you” are of paramount importance.

So there you have it, the top 8 astonishing things that new recruits do in the workplace. Have you ever done any of these things while working in Japan? Or have you been the one rolling your eyes at your kohai’s behaviour? Let us know in the comments section below.

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© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Lol, well old people vs young, what’s new?

If I leave home on time and the train stops, I agree, I am not late. There are some things you cannot control. If I have an extra important day, I do try to go extra early.

Reasons for not working...hey evolve with the times. Some people have a personal life and when they are upset they stay home :) I wish sick people would stay in more.

Using apps is simply getting with the times as well.

Nodding off is a nationally celebrated act.

But taking company stuff home is stealing, so I wouldn’t.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Gosh, new employees haven’t been corporatized yet, who could have imagined it? This article is just another tired old rehash of something that probably first appeared in the 1960s.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Alfie Noake,

My mother, who retired over thirty years ago, listed most of these complaints about new employees about 50 years ago. With the added complaint that a new secretary, when told to type two copies of a letter, used the then-expensive copy machine rather than carbon paper. Try to find carbon paper now.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

In Japan, the train company will hand out slips of paper when trains are late so that employees can present them to their bosses. It is acceptable to be late for this reason if you have proof.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Nodding off is a nationally celebrated act.


3 ( +3 / -0 )

Other than sleeping and not giving notice of being absent, the rest seem like power harassment to me. However, on the other hand, after many years of working in high schools and colleges I know for a fact that, many of these new recruits are just undereducated salary sucking parasites who slept their way through their education and have no ambition or personal drive what-so-ever.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Jeez, sorry but the problem is not with the freshmen and women but with those already working there.. That they can't see it like that, it's mind-boggling, not what the freshlings do. For example Line usage - why did the sempai gave her/his contact dates and allowed a kouhai access? BTW - modern companies will employ the business skype, which works exactly the same but in a business environment. Ever thought about throwing away that telex machine and modernize your garbage-dump like office?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I know for a fact that, many of these new recruits are just undereducated salary sucking parasites who slept their way through their education and have no ambition or personal drive what-so-ever.

Bit harsh...

I'd never cope in a Japanese office... where I work we are quite casual in our approach to each other in the office - yes we have our hierarchy but we are on first name terms. Yes we have an important job to do, but the way we interact with each other means that the environment isn't stressful or oppressive. New people coming to work here are surprised how easy going we are... I was the same when I started... I stopped wearing a tie within weeks and settled relatively quickly thanks to the friendly staff.

From this article it seems that Japanese offices are austere places to work... very serious and governed by strict rules. That would drive me nuts.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Nodding off? The guy passed out in the bathroom for 2 hours? Unless the guy parties at night, and or is sleepong around too much, there is a problem. Maybe the company shouldn't be working their employees to actula death?

Also, why was that guy in the bathroom on the floor for two hours? Sounds like either, no one uses the bathroom, or they stepped over his body like souless jerks. This complaint shows how awful some companies are. This is like asking parents what complaits they have about their kids. With one person answering, after I bet them up, they always sob uncontrollably for hours, they are so annoying.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

disagree with the line app thing... if youve actually add the kouhai on line than whats so puzzling they would use it. sure you might wanna let them know to send a email afterwards for record purposes, but one would hope the telephone call isnt the official record.

most are somewhat inappropriate but not all too surprising.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"... In Japan, where people usually don’t take all their annual leave out of politeness and concern for the rest of the group,....."

And we know that's not really the case.

It's because of fear of harrassment, bullying or other anti-social calling out.

Dare to be different and take the 4 weeks holiday due to you, be prepared to suffer the consequences.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Nodding off is a nationally celebrated act. Aso and many J politicians do it so why can the rest of J society

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Also, why was that guy in the bathroom on the floor for two hours?

He wasn't sleeping on the floor, he was sleeping in a bathroom on a different floor than his office was on. I assume he was still in a stall...

I had to read it twice myself.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

then they laugh and work 200 hours a month before keeling over

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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