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80% of cancer, heart patients in Japan continued working while in hospital: survey

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"Patients may think they've caused trouble to their workplaces and think they must work even in the hospital, but they shouldn't forget that they should prioritize treatment," 

I truly feel sorry for Japanese workers that feel this way. The idea that getting a possible terminal illness is a cause of trouble to someone else is just beyond my comprehension. And the thing that is really scary is that probably some people at the company do feel that way, that the ill person has caused trouble for them, instead of feeling compassion or sympathy.

BTW, this cannot be good for their recovery if they are stressing about their jobs and not their own recovery.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Also because many (most?) make you use nenkyu. My national university (which makes me komuin) made me use nenkyu for the 3 weeks I was in the hospital back in 2016. They said if I could show I at least did some work like emails while I was there I didn't have to use as much nenkyu. (After all this I inquired about the ridiculous of this policy and why we couldn't use something like byokyu they said if you are out longer, like with cancer, you have have to take unpaid sick leave. At a national university, I can not belive this is policy. And so I am sure if I sit there in the hospital and say I was doing research and planning lessons then I would not have to take unpaid sick leave)

5 ( +5 / -0 )

And on the other hand it is a good motivational factor for these cancer patients; keeping in touch with colleagues, letting them know that they intend to return to work, and have not been written off as 'terminal' by their employer.

The survey does not disclose just how much they were working. I personally can't see anything wrong with a couole of hours reading and writing whilst on the hospital ward; I did it myself when I spent 3 weeks in hospital a few years ago, got stir-crazy and tired of reading novels.

Like most things, balance is the key...

0 ( +3 / -3 )

On the other hand it might be important for many to be able to work even though they have cancer. Getting severe ilness changes your life and can be an identity crisis. Being able to work despite the ilness may actually give you strength. However being forced to work because of economical reasons is another thing.

I can imagine that I would try to continue to work even if I had cancer especially if the prognosis was good and it would be likely that I can return to normal life later.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Like most things, balance is the key...

Ah, yes. Balance. Balance in Japan? Where? On what occasion?

The idea that getting a possible terminal illness is a cause of trouble to someone else is just beyond my comprehension. And the thing that is really scary is that probably some people at the company do feel that way, that the ill person has caused trouble for them, instead of feeling compassion or sympathy.

So true. I'm sure the majority of the dead would still be bowing and apologizing profusely for having troubled anyone at the office if only they could speak.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The issue here should perhaps not be why sick people are working from hospital, but why healthy people aren't allowed to work from home.

I'm a freelancer and I always tell people I can do this because my predecessors (thanks guys!) have established this as an acceptable way of working. Many more jobs can be done remotely, even from hospital beds, if management is prepared to throw away its prejudices and loosen the iron grip it has on workers.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Because cancer is no longer the near automatic death sentence it once was, continuing work and other activities while receiving treatment is actually being actively promoted by the Japan Cancer Society in their “nagara worker” project. I see constant public service tv commercials for it from AC Japan (Advertising Council Japan).

https://www.jcancer.jp/lp/nagara-worker/

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If I were hospitalized and had the means (smartphone, laptop, whatever), I would want to do at least some work if I were physically able.

I would want to keep busy if I could -- again, within the limits of my physical capabilities and whatnot.

I wouldn't want to be sitting around doing nothing.

Maybe many of the people in that 80% actually wanted to keep working to at least some extent while in the hospital.

It's almost as if it's being assumed that, because they're Japanese, these patients are being forced to work. A baseless assumption to make -- and one that, quite frankly, seems to be stereotyping Japanese people, employers, and culture.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It's not stereotyping the Japanese to say that there is an unhealthy working environment here. It's just fact. Incredibly long working hours coupled with low productivity is an unhealthy work environment. Countless amounts of workplace harassment and unreasonable expectations leading to Karoushi and a lot of times social withdrawal... you don't even need anecdotal evidence of the toxic work environment in Japan. My husband caught a Norovirus last year and still was expected to check in with work throughout the day. These people aren't working because they're assuming they'll cause a problem, they KNOW they'll cause a problem because the Japanese are terrible at improvising. Didn't used to be this way and it's not inherent to Japanese culture but it is this way now. I mean hell when my daughter was still crawling I threw my back out so bad I couldn't even get up off the ground and the FIRST feeling I had was guilt because I knew I would have to call my husband home from work, you know, to keep our baby alive... and I just felt so bad to disrupt his schedule. Not that I was laying on the floor in agony, unable to move. If this were back in the States (a country with just as many problems for sure) I wouldn't have felt bad to be in an emergency situation.

I'm not a sociologist, I can't explain exactly what about Japan makes people feel this way. I've only lived here around a decade and I'm sure if I had cancer that I would somehow feel bad very guilty for my illness imposing on my husband and therefore disrupting his work. This is a ridiculous way to feel.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If I were hospitalized and had the means (smartphone, laptop, whatever), I would want to do at least some work if I were physically able.

If I were hospitalized and had the means (smartphone, laptop, whatever), I would want to do ZERO work, and instead devote my time to positive, healthful, healing activities with zero stress.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And thanks to the heartless employer of my brother-in-law his cancer has returned and will most likely will not reach his 50th birthday. Hats off to you corporate Japan!!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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