Japan is well-known for its zealous workers and what often comes to mind when referring to its office workers are usually exhausted employees passed out on the train.
I was in a unique position in Japanese offices. I worked in offices at three different Japanese companies, but not for them. I was a business skills instructor for several years, and I spent all day in the offices where I taught. I attended meetings, had my own desk and computer, and sat next to […]
When trying to picture a Japanese city like Tokyo and its inhabitants, one of the first things that comes to mind is a crowd of straight-backed people with stern faces.
As part of business traditions in Japan, there is something called ‘Meishi’. In English, these are called business cards, and used throughout the world.
The way of dealing with people in business situations is not just different in Japan, it is diametrically opposite to what you would expect abroad. Foreign employees and managers newly transferred to a Japanese branch are too often taken aback by the way Japanese workers might act and react in a work environment.
In the West, bonding with coworkers usually happens over lunch or by the coffee machine while taking a well-deserved break. In Japan, spending time with your coworkers outside working hours on a regular basis is usually expected, more particularly when working with older generations.
Culture is a mysterious thing. It can dictate the food you eat, the games you play, even the colors you see. But for many people moving abroad to work, it can be even more confounding for not only is culture at large different, but the specifics of business and work add another layer of complexity.