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When people go to work, they enjoy casual conversations with their colleagues, and have lunch together. The sense of fulfillment and social rewards derived from such simple interactions is impossible to overestimate.


Prof Hajime Ohta of Doshisha University in Kyoto, who examined the pros and cons of teleworking in his recent book, “Nihonjin no Shonin-yokkyu” (Esteem needs of Japanese). He says people like to be recognized by others for their performance, achievements and abilities in the workplace.

© Yomirui Shimbun

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When I go to work, I enjoy to meet my beautiful female coworkers.

Conversation during lunch is not possible, because we have to sit separate from each other in the cantine, because of Corona.

During working hours we have a little bit casual conversations, but not too much.

Boss is always watching us.

I enjoy more the ride in the morning train with all my commuter friends.

We talk a lot about Sports, Izakayas, News, Corona situation, women, ....

During the past 2 years we just talked on the platform or on the way to the station, but these days we are getting more relaxed about Corona and we start to talk more and more on the trains too.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

True. Your sense of connection and belonging is reinforced while being physically present at a company.

Goes without saying, that possible office romances and friendships are greatly enhanced too.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Maybe that’s a bit specific to Japan as work time and leisure time as well as coworkers and private friends respectively aren’t split so much as it is in most or many other countries. There, usually one is more than happy not having to commute, not to see the bosses all the time, not to sit beside or lunch together with the rivals and bullies in the company. Working from home and only sometimes a bit of video conferencing , that’s pure new heaven for many people worldwide. Might be not valid in Japan, ok. And the rest of the argumentation, well , to be honest, they can keep their damned recognizing performance, achievements and abilities in the workplace, if they pay adequate wages and in a way that keeps pace with inflation and other higher costs. No one can pay at the supermarket cash registry’s with some nice words from bosses or colleagues, or can you? Capitalism is basically , orders by a company owner to complete an amount of work and in return the hired employees getting paid for that work a certain amount that is lower in value than the completed work done as the owner has costs , has higher financial risks and of course wants also a kind of salary on top of it which is the profit. The whole rest in this relationship is useless decoration and has no meaning.

1 ( +2 / -1 )


With all due respect, all the academics I know in Japan or elsewhere could not handle the corporate world.

And all the ones that went to work for a company I know are the complete opposite, with an stable position from the moment they were hired, better salaries, less responsibility, realistic objectives and being judged in their work by people with faces and names instead of obscure committees.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I get fulfilled when I get paid, I do not want to talk to people in the office nor do I give a rip what they think

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I suppose its true if you get along with your colleagues and they are 100% honest and nice people in general... well, there are no perfect people actually... including myself. So, to my mind, and according to my experience its safer to be as much less personal with your coworkers as its possible. Workplace policy should be strict regarding personal questions, and prying into a coworker’s life. If that is kept being friendly and making a small talk wont hurt, but that doesnt always work... nowadays i dream of a new workplace where my interaction with others would be as less as possible.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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