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Morinaga starts 'summer time,' calling employees to work at 8 a.m.

25 Comments

Confectionery maker Morinaga Co launched "summer time" at its Tokyo headquarters on March 28, calling employees to work and sending them home an hour earlier.

The company launched the initiative as a result of TEPCO’s rolling blackouts in an attempt to save electricity, and will continue it until September whether the blackouts are implemented or not, say company officials.

Each day, some 500 Morinaga employees in the corporate and marketing divisions start work at 8 a.m. and leave at 4:30 p.m., an hour earlier from the regular 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. shift. Due to meetings with clients, however, personnel in the sales and manufacturing divisions have to work as before.

In the massive confusion caused by stopped public transportation and the inability to catch taxis after the earthquake, a number of Morinaga employees either walked for hours to get home or stayed somewhere else on March 11. Initially, the company encouraged employees to avoid rush hour and come to work at different times of the day. But when the rolling blackouts began, Morinaga decided to expand the encouragement into a new work policy.

Employees seem content with the new work shifts. “I am better organized and use my time more wisely now," said an employee. Another worker said that the new working hours give her more time for her hobbies and other leisure activities.

In addition, Morinaga also saves electricity by cutting power and using one instead of two elevators. Employees use the stairs to reach their offices, many of which are located on the 8th floor.

© Compiled from news reports

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

25 Comments
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Do they realy go home at 4.30 an hour early? I don't know of anyone in Japan who walks out of the door on time. It's win win for the companies!

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Walking up 8 floors is no easy task. But after walking 7 hours home on the big day, would seem easy to me.

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Personally doubt they go home early, possible excuses "too hot" etc,

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No one is going to leave early, are you kidding me

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Yes they will, bosses will tell them to.

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“I am better organized and use my time more wisely now,”

how can starting an hour earlier make this person a more efficient worker? the logic baffles me, as do some other things.

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Do they really go home at 4.30 an hour early? I don't know of anyone in Japan who walks out of the door on time.

I have seen many people leave on time in Japan. For factories, it's very common. I once worked at a Japanese electronic manufacturer. We followed factory hours with time cards and everything. You couldn't be late, but you got to leave on the dot.

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All of Japan should start this new summer time, Japan has been wasting too much money, electricity for not having the change in the hours when the sun in Japan is already out at 3am??

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how can starting an hour earlier make this person a more efficient worker?

He actually said "use my time more wisely." I know I used to use my time more wisely while living in a summer-time country - after dinner I'd play tennis, go for a bike ride, meet friends, etc. Having more natural light available during waking hours tends to enhance a person's quality of life.

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They will "leave at 4:30", which in practice means that a lot of them will officially check out using the time cards, and then return to work.

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I am also skeptical that people will leave early, however, from time to time I leave the office early and the trains get pretty busy around 5pm, so some people are leaving on time.

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bentheredonthat

how can starting an hour earlier make this person a more efficient worker? the logic baffles me, as do some other things.

Don't be so dismissive. If I knew that I could leave work earlier and get home in time to enjoy the remaining daylight with my kids at the park, go running, biking, etc. it would be an incentive for me to be more organized and efficient during the day to ensure I had completed my tasks for the day at close of business. If I knew that it was going to be late and dark at the end of my work day there would be no incentive for me to get things done so as to avoid working late/overtime.

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Often in Japan it is better to be a blue-collar factory worker than a white collar office worker. The commuting time is much shorter and overtime will more likely be paid.

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They'll stop getting PAID at 4:30. I have my doubts that's when they'll get to leave. If it's true though, kudos to Morinaga.

Anyway, I pity the people who have a long and very early morning commute.

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Most of the Japanese won't leave early. People were contracted at my organisation to 5.30pm but every night I would walk past the office at 7pm and sometimes 9pm and there would still be people working away in there.

People admire the Japananese dedication to their work, but if you saw how much they procrastinate and how inefficiently they use their time, perhaps people would change their views. The rest of the world goes home when they are contracted to, and the world keeps spinning. It is annoying that the Japanese can't do the same and use it to belittle or frown upon people who leave on time or earlier (if they have finished their work, both of which I came up against).

Not only is it backward from an employers point of view (i.e you worked a retail unit and had workers who stayed three hours of unpaid overtime but only made five sandwiches for the entire day where as the workers who left on time made twenty and more efficiently used their time.. which would you keep or fire?), but it is also bad for employee morale.

This isn't true for all Japanese people of course, there are very hardworking Japanese people who know about the importance of being efficient whilst maintaining a healthy work schedule, but I have not myself witnessed it.

I think the stay late mentality might hail back to rural farming jobs, where there was ALWAYS work that could be done or needed doing, therefore you worked until you lost the light of day. But that is just me speculating.

There is also the matter of Japanese people who will stay at their offices late on purpose to avoid their families. I won't go into this too much for fear of upsetting people (besides it happens in the West too!) but not half as frequently as the Japanese sons who don't want to return home to their parents houses (in the case of the younger generation) and husbands who don't want to go home to their wives and children (not true of all Japanese men!). I did not witness too many married women who stayed late, because of their family obligations. However it appeared that single women stayed late to 'match' or 'out-do' their male co-workers. Either that or they just didn't want to go home to their parents constantly questioning them as to why the haven't got married and had babies yet.

(Please note this piece contained sweeping generalisations and, my point of view).

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elbudamexicano at 06:15 PM JST - 11th April All of Japan should start this new summer time, Japan has been wasting too much money, electricity for not having the change in the hours when the sun in Japan is already out at 3am??

Amen bud. So silly to have the sun rise at 5am and set at 6pm, wasting so many hours of light. This is partly due to the unfortunate situation of Japan being misplaced in time zone nine, the same zone as Korea and parts of Russia far to the west:

It's past time to sort out this ludicrous situation. According to Wikipedia:

There is a tendency to draw time zone boundaries far to the west of their meridians. Many of these locations also use daylight saving time. As a result, in the summer, solar noon in the Spanish town of Muxia occurs at 14:37 (2:37pm) by the clock. This area of Spain never experiences sunset before 18:00 (6pm) local time even in midwinter, despite its lying more than 40 degrees north of the equator. Near the summer solstice, Muxia has sunset times similar to those of Stockholm.

On the other hand, Japan's time zone, set in 1886, is far to the east of the meridian, giving us us sunsets around 4:30 in winter.

We need more sunshine.

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We need more sunshine.

This,

Apparently japanese cannot understand how summertime time works. Ask around! It's like you were told that they are going to change gravity rules to save energy.

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(Please note this piece contained sweeping generalisations and, my point of view).

Duly noted.

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Apparently japanese cannot understand how summertime time works. Ask around! It's like you were told that they are going to change gravity rules to save energy.

Oh, yes. Read through these posts here. 'The Japanese this, the Japanese that' like they're from a different planet. And 'we' have all the answers; only 'we' know what summertime is. The whole nation of Japan being so different from 'ourselves' haven't got a clue; the wisdom is ours. Of course. What arrogance.

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I mentioned the idea of daylight savings once, or even just moving Japan's time zone over to another. The reaction was something like, "But ... but ... what about the schools! And the workplaces!!" As if it would be just IMPOSSIBLE to change schedules to suit the new times.

I got similar reactions when I suggested that workplaces should offer flex time or stagger start/finish times. Japan as a country is like a person with really bad OCD. If you change the routine, you're going to throw everything into chaos.

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presto:

'The Japanese this, the Japanese that' like they're from a different planet. And 'we' have all the answers; only 'we' know what summertime is. The whole nation of Japan being so different from 'ourselves' haven't got a clue; the wisdom is ours. Of course. What arrogance.

It's a big world out there, and Japan is a tiny galapagos, yes, w/o a clue in many ways.

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ps. take a look at the world time zone map. It's easy to see where the problem lies.

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"Another worker said that the new hours give her more time for her hobbies"

She is mistaken. She is working the same number of hours. She's going to work an hour earlier and leaving work an hour earlier.

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She is mistaken. She is working the same number of hours

It depends on her hobbies. If they are of the outdoor variety, then conceivably she would have more time for them. Outdoor swimming pools, for instance, could extend their hours into the evenings, offering people the chance to go for a cool swim after work or dinner. That would cool them down naturally, reducing their need for air conditioning.

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I'm waiting for the "But it is maybe confusing for old people" line to crop up, as though the retired folk make the rules for big business.

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