I believe this. Its crazy, I just got back from a business trip at 9:30 pm last night, been up working since 6am. I am not a sales guy so my job is not travel based. Of course when I travel my "home job" does not go on pause.
Americaís working culture is pretty awful too. IIRC Americans work even more hours than the Japanese.
Example, my boss sent an email to myself and my colleague (who was on vacation with his wife who just got over cancer treatment) while I was travelling for customer visits that he needed help in pulling together a presentation for his management tomorrow. "Please fill in slides x,y,z for me". I got chuckle when his email started with "I know you are traveling and colleague is on vacation, but...." This was my buddy's product line, but I knew this vaca was important to him and his wife. I took it on, worked till midnight, got 6 hours sleep and then got up to get ready for my customer meeting at 8am.
Other things that my company has done to help with work-life balance:
Implemented swing hours (take every other Friday off by working 9 hour days). The ONLY people this is available to is Salary, so you do the math.
Removed vacation tracking for Mid-Upper level employees. The pitch: You guys are big boys, we are not going to limit you to an x amount of hours of vacation per year. Take what you need, you know what you need to get done, just tie off with your manager. Reality: Since there is not a number with use-it-or-loose-it attached, we have no leverage over management when trying to ask for vaca. And even if we get vaca approved, see example above.
Last Vacaiton I was getting up at 5am before my family so I could get a few hours in to try to catch-up on emails or steer any emergencies before they became crisis-mode and had to miss out on a family vaca day.
And to all the comments about its just "Capitalist America", I work for a French Company HQ'd in Paris.
Everyday I worked till ~3AM and I need to get back to work around 9-10AM. So that means for a month, I only slept for 4-5 hours per day. I also needed to work on weekends, Saturday and Sunday.
The following months were better, but I still needed to work every weekends (but thank goodness Sunday was off). This happened for one year. I had to work on Saturday almost every weekend.
The company gave you bonus for overtime, but in the end I didn't extend my contract. No money can compensate the mental exhaustion that I experienced.
I live in a shitty 3rd world country, so I really don't have a choice. But I don't understand why people from first world country allow themselves to be exploited like that. Not only Japan, I heard many American companies (yes including HP, fuck HP) have obsession with overtime. They wear it like a badge of honor (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/31/o...-balance-.html).
Well, I am not saying to slack off at work. I usually don't use my phone much for private things at work but if I just check out some news for a few minutes, I don't really time it.
I don't like charging time to the client if I'm not working on a client. If I was paying someone per hour for a job, I would want them to charge me based on how much work they put in.
In the end of the day, I just roughly subtract some time for my breaks (like going out for a smoke) so everything is fair and square.
Still, most other white collar jobs usually have downtimes, something you barely get doing consulting/assurance. And to be honest, most of the time wasted is because the client is doing some shit so I don't feel like I have to spent every paid second worrying about their stuff.
DO NOT CONSORT WITH FOREIGNERS.
I originally came to Japan on a WHV which I don't believe has hour limits, then on a student visa the 28 hours thing doesn't apply during "breaks".
Uh... Aren't they breaking the law then? You're only allowed to work 28 hours a week if you're there on a student visa :P
Honestly though I don't really think any body actually follows these student visa limits.
Pretty much every person from Nepal I've met for example works like 2 jobs, doing overnight 10 hour shifts. There is no way these people are only doing 28 hours.
There are many companies that would be on board with that idea, if they didn't have to take on further legal responsibility. Ironically, the threat of civil lawsuit (exposure as its named) is probably the only thing keeping some of these companies from pushing into that vein.
Do maybe 2-4 hours more per week at my job.
They may as well build tiny living cubes next to there desk. What's the point of working so many hours cause your not spending the money.
I've had months where I'd work 80 hour weeks for the entire month. It was engineering stuff. Fortunately I only do that for one or two months at a time.
Don’t know about other countries but American OTR truck drivers routinely work up to 70 hours a week