Long working hours, difficulty resting… In Japan, where between 300 and 400 employees die each year from overwork and exhaustion, Labor Day has a very special connotation.
With our correspondent in Tokyo, Bruno Duval
The working days of these Tokyoites never end. They spend an average of ten hours a day in the office and then when they get home they are expected to be available and responsive. “I don’t have a private life. Almost every afternoon, my colleagues call me because they can’t find a document or need information about a file, etc.”, says a worker.
“My dream would be to be able to stop thinking about work until the next day, to clear my head completely. But it’s a dream,” says another Tokyoite.
“I answer my boss’s messages, even when I’m bathing my baby. I have no choice,” laments a young mother.
Work better after going offline
Unable to tolerate such a corporate culture, this executive decided to leave his company, a large Japanese company. He now works for an American company and every day he is happier. “
Since I spend my evenings and weekends disconnected and therefore relaxed, I work much better. I am more productive, more creative and I am better focused”, says the executive. “There is no secret: it is because I am less nervous and tired”, he adds.
But most of the Japanese do not enjoy such a privilege. This is because the right to disconnect is not generally applicable to small and medium-sized businesses. However, more than seven out of ten employees work there.