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For those of you who are not self-employed, how big an issue is unpaid overtime at your workplace?


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It's huge. All anyone can seem to talk about is how exhausted they are, and the management's attitude is that staff have big enough salaries that they should be on-call 24/7 to justify it.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Not at all. I am a manager and do not get paid overtime anyways, ergo, I put in an extra 10 minutes and leave promptly every day. If necessary I will take a late or early call at home. I learned early on that under nenkou jouretsu (seniority system), you can work as hard as you want but it will not lead to promotion over your boss and he will use your efforts to polish up his performance.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

At my office, the modus operandi seems to be that the more useless you are, the more unpaid overtime you do. Being unable to do anything for fourteen hours is measured as better than being good at your job for seven.

If you're in early and out late, the brownie points are yours, regardless of how inept you are in the intervening period.

I get in at 10 and I'm out the door at six.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

We start at 7:30. I leave promptly at 5. Others are still working.

We also also have to come in saturday at 7:30-2.

Even then, I leave promptly at 2 and others are still working.

September-December there are alot of days where we have to come in on Sunday too. We have a lot of overtime. It is exhausting. But at least everyone (but one) in my workplace is nice and we all get along.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Most days I down tools at 5:30pm. Occasionally, I need to work overtime, but I manage it myself; it is not forced upon me.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Unpaid overtime should be made illegal. Have never done it, never will. Folk must learn to work smarter, not longer!

I get my head down and do what needs to get done before I clock off.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Never have, never will. I do volunteer for good causes though.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Japan often ranks high on hours worked and low on productivity among OECD countries.

Often wondered is there a correlation?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Before I was self-employed, it was a huge issue.

Meetings would be scheduled around the world that I'd have to virtually attend - Europe, USA, Asia all the same day. Then on weekends, I'd be expected to join system upgrade calls 4-6 hrs overnight to ensure my designs were implemented correctly. I'd attempt to use flex time, but that would only get me and others in my role down to 60 hr weeks.

When I was younger and still writing code, 60 hr weeks was considered lite. Getting in "the zone" for complex coding sessions would take a few uninterrupted hours before productivity really began. Then the trick was NOT get get interrupted the rest of the day, which was almost impossible.

Working in Japan was much worse when I was here. Get to the client location at 9am, but often not get out until after midnight, sometimes 2am. They'd have some employees arrive at work around 3pm who would stay with us. After experiencing that, I learned that all contracts clearly had an 8 hr limit for "a day" of paid effort when travelling.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It's a big problem for those who let it become one.

If you don't speak up, you get nothing--no pay or extra time. What you allow will continue, so clear boundaries are a must.

I don't volunteer at work but most of my co-workers do all the time.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

FouxdefaToday  04:06 pm JST

It's a big problem for those who let it become one.

That's a bit simplistic. Work, like all of life, can be complex.

2 ( +2 / -0 )


It's a philosophy that's worked well for me, granted I have experience working at only 2 different companies as an adult, and the first one was where I learned this lesson after my health fell apart. Work is complicated but I've found simple clear boundaries are key to negotiating the work/life balance I want. The Japanese companies I've experienced have good policies on paper but a very different "culture" of unspoken understandings for behavior reinforced through emotional manipulation. The way to keep a clear head and clear goals around emotionally manipulative people and organizations is to always know a) what my personal choices, responsibilities, and boundaries are b) communicate those clearly and calmly when needed.

People do overtime for all kinds of reasons, but I'm talking about unpaid overtime.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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