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Does Cool Biz help or undermine productivity at the workplace?

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Cool Biz What rubbish! So you can take your stupid tie off, big deal! Who invented the tie anyway, stupid piece of cloth just dangling there?!! Now if you could work naked that would be really Cool Biz and increse productivity in the workplace. But on second thoughts, the sight of some of the battleaxes unclothed would probably make me feel ill and lower productivity!

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the sight of some of the battleaxes unclothed would probably make me feel ill and lower productivity!

I'm sure they would feel the same toward you

Cool biz doesn't fly because if you really want to save energy in the summer just go home on time. I've heard, but don't know if it's true, that the reason DST isn't used in Japan is that the dimwit salarymen will keep working until the sun goes down. How daft is that?

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I'm sure they would feel the same toward you

probably right there!

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Increased productivity because you don't have to wear a tie? What a stupid concept! The point of 'cool-biz' is supposed to be to reduce energy consumption and to reduce the heat put out by air-conditioners into the concrete jungle. I agree with coolcali. Just close the offices at 6pm, as they should be, and energy consumption would be reduced by 30% or more. As for reducing the heat in the concrete jungle, that is just a pipe dream and has zero effect. 99% of the heat generated in the heat island comes from reflected heat off the roads and buildings. If anything, running air-conditioners would reduce the heat island effect by creating some breeze on those sultry summer days.

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The war over the air conditioner has already started in our office. Most of the guys are embracing Cool Biz and wearing no ties. But the boss still wants to set the air conditioning at 28 degrees. That is not cool in anyone's language, as far as I am concerned. So some people proceed to lower the temperature control, and when they are absent, someone else (usually a woman who keeps a blanket on her legs, even in summer) turns it back up again.

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There is NO productivity in the workplace in Japan. The whole system is setup to be unproductive.

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noborito

There is NO productivity in the workplace in Japan. The whole system is setup to be unproductive.

Agreed

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I had a plastic fan glued to my hand last summer. The 28C/82F policy kills some people with or without a tie and what I noticed was less productivity, suffering faces and hankies or fans in hand...and I can tell many guys are sweating out beers. Big dudes like me are screwed in 28 or 38 and there is nothing cool about this biz. OL and bone skinny guys- no problem. Funny bit is I was in the US Consulate yesterday, all the guys had on ties and cool biz doesnt exist. It was a comfy 26 and I mentioned it to them- they looked at me, smiled and said "We dont do things the Japanese way around here...shoganai doesnt exist"

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Statistics from past years have indicated that workplace productivity drops as much as 7-8% with every one-degree rise in ambient temperature (adjusted for other factors like hours worked, type of work being done, etc.). Many of these so-called eco-activities being promoted in the workplace or on an individual level are fine in theory, but they are not addressing the real problems, like over-dependence on automobiles, wasted energy in manufacturing (although Japan is a global leader in working on this), and all the hot air coming out of Nagata-cho.

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Japanese salaried men would never dare to remove their tie or jacket in the past. Air conditioning was more wanted/needed in those days.

When the Prime Minister came out wearing short sleeves and no tie, some people took it as a cue to wear a less formal outfit in the summer. "The Prime Minister did it, so we can do it in the office!" Typical top down thinking.

The choice of 28 degrees may be an attempt to allow for human nature. "If we set the national standard at 26, then a lot of people will go to 24, meaning no change from the present. Set it higher and hope for an average of 26 degrees... (?)

If the paperwork is sticking to my arms, then my productivity certainly goes out the window. Most of the office staff seem to stick to the 28 degree limit. Maybe they can get used to it.

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One of the stupidest things Japan's useless bureaucracy came up

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In our office we have coolbiz all year round so im happy as I've never liked ties. We can also crank down the AC to about 20 degrees which is just right for me.. It makes sense that if employees are happy then productivity goes up! I'm very happy!

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Look at Japanese movies from the early- to mid-sixties (especially the "Shacho" series)--summertime scenes with everyone in short sleeves and neckties, hardly a coat in sight. Much more sensible back then, but of course most offices didn't have central air either.

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I'm pretty sure it undermines productivity. When I do a business English lesson in an office with Cool Biz, I am supposed to wear a jacket. No matter what. My students are usually wearing short sleeve tops, and because they're usually women, they're usually in "cut-sew" type shirts rather than button-down type. By the time I finish my lesson, I am shaking, sweating, about to throw up and on the verge of fainting. So productive!

I'm normally really sensitive to cold, but 28?? 25 or 26 I can do. 28 is just way too hot.

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It definitely undermines productivity. 28 degrees is way too hot for an office.

I just saw a TV commercial for Cool Biz clothes, what a joke, the guys are wearing jackets.

"Now if you could work naked that would be really Cool Biz"

I tried that, but the women in my workplace were so turned on by my glorious naked body, they couldn't concentrate on their work, heh heh.

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Cool Biz is a step in the right direction, but until someone can persuade the bloodless spinsters who infest so many offices here that you don't have to swaddle yourselves in blankets when the temperature drops below 28 for the simple reason that IT IS NOT COLD, then there is going to be nothing but sweating blokes and nothing being done.

Hey maybe that's it - maybe the ladies get a kick out of being surrounded by sweaty men?

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no not at all. It saves electricity and no aircon.and people work better when they are not under heat exhaution(sic). What's the big deal about cool biz. Go to Silicon Valley. all the workers(software and IT employees) come dressed in Jeans and california casual and ,they work hard, cause it is omfortable .Thy have tremendous productivity.

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As others have mentioned, if they really wanna save energy, make offices close by 6. Many men still wear their jacket and/or tie because the boss expects them to or because they go out to visit clients. So jacking up the heat must make it unbearable for some; resulting in less productivity and some workers possibly staying even later because they were too hot all afternoon to get much done. People who are not melting due to heat are gonna be more productive and more efficient. I would imagine the extra heat also means more people waving fans and drinking more fluids which means more trips to the bathroom...

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"Big dudes can't work" should be the title of a movie about my life in the 28 degrees! 28 in the summer, and 28 in the winter! I don't know which one's the worst!

In my office, I keep a comfortable 25/26 jyoushitsu, not air conditioning, which keeps the humidity at about 50% and I have a fan turned on most days. The lower the humidity, the better I feel. I don't ever use the heater in the winter. Needless to say, my Japanese co-workers freeze when they come and visit but when I have non-Japanese in, they just smile... and nod!

For me, I think winter's heat is worse than Cool Biz! It doesn't make sense to have a heater set at 28 and then wear a blouse!

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Thought the 28 setting was only my place...guess its standard. But its got to change! At that temp it would be better to open the windows and set the fan on. Try to get a breeze. Also at 20-27 you dont need blankets...but since you have them please let us set the air conditioner!!! As we can only take so much off.

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I kind of agree with PeaceWarrior. I think the biggest problem is humidity. 28 is not that bad if it isn't humid. You are in a building and presumably protected from the sun, so it should feel fine, again if there is little or no humidity. It's no wonder that productivity goes down in Japan's hot and humid offices. Another thing that lowers productivity, I think, are the constant smoking breaks people take. That, however, is another can of worms.

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Productivity has never been attempted to be increased in any serious way in domestic companies on the whole, but for the foreign staff in my J. co. it has been a small but noticeable motivator. Makes the Americans feel more relaxed in a stiff and unfriendly office.

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Definitely helps, The more cool you look, the more you can get your Biz on!

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Gonna be in the 30s Thursday people...get ready to turn those air conditioners on....to 29....

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