Japan Urges Employees to Take Mondays Mornings Off from Work
In its most recent attempt to improve the country’s bad rap on work-life balance, Japan’s government is now urging companies to allow employees to take Monday mornings off.
Hoping to give employees their much needed break right at the start of the working week, the economy, trade and industry ministry is now considering “Shining Mondays” as part of the country’s wider campaign to address the punishingly long hours many employees are expected to work, despite the fact that similar schemes aimed at reducing people’s workload have been mostly unsuccessful.
The idea of “Shining Modays” are linked to the introduction a while ago of “Premium Fridays”, where employers are urged to allow employees to log out early to go home to their families or help boosts consumer spending.
The latest scheme would allow employees to take the morning off on Mondays following the last Friday of the month.
The ministry has already tested the idea, allowing almost a third of its staff to arrive at the workplace after lunch. Officials claimed that the absence of hundreds of employees throughout the morning had not negatively affected the ministry’s work according to reports.
However, it remains to be seen how many employers will obey the scheme so far. A year after Premium Fridays were introduced, a survey revealed that just around 11.2% of employees across the country had left work early on the designated day, with firms complaining they were always too busy at the end of the month to provide their employees extra time off from work.
Following the death of the 24-year-old Matsuri Takahashi, an employee at the huge advertising company, Dentsu, committed suicide in 2015, Japan has been very eager in challenging its own work culture. Reports have it that investigations revealed that Takahashi had clocked in more than 100 hours of overtime for several months before her death. Authorities even classified her death as karoshi, which means death from overwork.