It is 2014 and I am guessing the statistics are the same if not worst. Form my experience and those of family it is pretty typical for work to start at 8 or earlier am and finish at 10:30pm. Of course all the overtime is service so unpaid. There is no concept of legality, it is illegal, but companie just don't care.
There is a sense of Japanese sense of duty, so no one complains. What has made things worse, has been the poor state of the economy. This means many worker work as contract workers, meaning, health, pension contributions are very low, no yearly bonus, limited holidays. However they expect, the same commitment of a part time worker or contract worker as a full time worker who has a better pay with benefits. Worst still it is easier for the company to dismiss contract workers, so in some cases you will find the lower paid workers working harder than the full time employees.
Again and again I here talk about the importance of society, families, being a shakaijin, however I fail to see how anyone who is essentially locked to their desk at work, can contribute to society, build a healthy happy family. As usual talk and action are miles apart.
Working long hours must have a detrimental effect on efficiency, creativity, and motivation. No one seems to consider this? The ideas, of work smart not mindlessly hard long hours with no creativity.
My hope is Japanese companies wake up and treat their employees,like humans, with families, the right to personel development and the right to contribute to society outside of the workplace.
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