Japanese reporter died after clocking 159 hours of overtime

I work to live not live to work

I don't do overtime and don't really socialise with work mates. I see them more than my kids as it is and that time with my kids is the most important time for me.
 
I have done a 13 hour day once. Just once.

For my original eight, I didn't have a lunch, so they asked me to stay. I said I'd do it if they bought me dinner and gave me an hour to eat and refresh myself.

We weren't even busy when I did it. It was five hours of talking with coworkers and surfing the web.

I'll never do it again. Eight hour workdays are already long enough.

I can't imagine what it's like to be in Japan where massive overtime is a normal thing. They need to start getting really fucking serious about changing their work culture. Quickly. It's insane.
 
I read an interesting fact about Japan's polictal reporting the other day. Since 2010 they have went from 11th to 67th in the press freedom rankings. They are now the lowest in the G7. I assume Prime Minister Abe is responsible. The same for Japan's more apparent denial of WW2 atrocities and the push for a change to their constitution to allow for a military.
I took a quick look and apparently they are at 72 now, that is terrible for a developed country...
 
I'm all for overtime if you're getting paid for it. No way am I working for free. I remember working a month straight and in the end it wasn't even worth the overtime at that point because my check got taxed to shit. Never again. I don't mind working an extra 10 hours every two weeks as long as I get paid.
 

Lonestar

I joined for Erin Brockovich discussion
Was thinking, "Wow, 159 hours is a long time" in regards of OT, but I thought it was in a week, and not a month.

Now, that's still way too many hours, but in my youth, I definitely beat that, for mutliple months straight, for a couple of years. 7 days a week, 12-15 hour days.

Haven't done anything like that in over a decade (working that nice and normal 40-45 hour weeks), but maybe that's why my memory isn't what it used to be.

Nice way to build up a nest egg, but it's rough.

Is OT as widespread a thing now-a-days? Seems like it's gone away in lead up to the recession (and continued on)
 
Overworking makes you less efficient. You need to be well rested, you need to work efficently, not hard for the sake of working hard.

If you look at a country like Germany, you can see that they have a high level of productivity despite not working as many hours as the Japanese.


Nobody can take away from Japan that they are amazing at many things. Their perfectonism has given the world some of the most amazing creations and they do pioneer in so many areas. But they have to begin to get this counter-culture that seeks to make it okay to rest. Okay to enjoy life in a non-working capacity. What they are doing in countries like Japan are not healthy.


You'll be more happy with more vacations and free time. Don't live to work. Don't put your value or the values on other on their work ethic. Do the job in the most efficient manner. Then go home and come back after you've recharged. Rarely do good ideas, complex solution, innovative ways of thinking come from overwork. Overworking can be useful for factory jobs that doesn't require complex thinking. For everything else; Pay your workers well, have them work less, get their productivity up by being efficent when they do work.
 
This is terrible...and the coverup?!

Japan needs to really get serious about changing their work culture.

I have a reputation at my employer for being anti-overtime.

I established it immediately and have worked to keep adamant about it.

I've heard some jokes from coworkers from time to time about bolting out the door at the strike of 5 but idgaf.

Fuck others trying to make you feel guilty (or a type of way) for leaving on time.
 
Was thinking, "Wow, 159 hours is a long time" in regards of OT, but I thought it was in a week, and not a month.

Now, that's still way too many hours, but in my youth, I definitely beat that, for mutliple months straight, for a couple of years. 7 days a week, 12-15 hour days.

Haven't done anything like that in over a decade (working that nice and normal 40-45 hour weeks), but maybe that's why my memory isn't what it used to be.

Nice way to build up a nest egg, but it's rough.

Is OT as widespread a thing now-a-days? Seems like it's gone away in lead up to the recession (and continued on)
I might be dumb but how would that be possible? A week has 168 hours total.
 
It's not just working in Japan, it's also after work drinking that also affects the hours spent with work related activity. If your boss decides to go have drinks after work, you are REQUIRED to go and get drunk with him until 1-2 am or whatever. Then get up at 6 and go to work the next day.
 
Was thinking, "Wow, 159 hours is a long time" in regards of OT, but I thought it was in a week, and not a month.

Now, that's still way too many hours, but in my youth, I definitely beat that, for mutliple months straight, for a couple of years. 7 days a week, 12-15 hour days.

Haven't done anything like that in over a decade (working that nice and normal 40-45 hour weeks), but maybe that's why my memory isn't what it used to be.

Nice way to build up a nest egg, but it's rough.

Is OT as widespread a thing now-a-days? Seems like it's gone away in lead up to the recession (and continued on)
I hope this wasn't meant to be a dick measuring contest. Not everyone has the capabilities of working that long, and you don't know what kind of mental stress she was going through.
 
That's basically 80 hours a week right?

That's ridiculous - I know I'm doing crazy hours due to crunch time but even my brain tells me enough is enough after the 10 hour mark and i do something random/unrelated for a good few hours.
 
I was a salary man in Japan for a while and worked way more and way harder in Canada. They worked long hours but they are not nearly as productive. The issue of excessive OT is not a Japanese thing.
 
I was a salary man in Japan for a while and worked way more and way harder in Canada. They worked long hours but they are not nearly as productive. The issue of excessive OT is not a Japanese thing.
Yup...

Do they get paid time and a half for that overtime?
There are some companies that pay for overtime and some give you a set amount of money per month. For example, they pay up front per month for 20 hours of overtime. This is great if you don’t do overtime. However, if you do and if it’s over 20 hours, you will not get anymore money. Usually this is a sign you will be doing more than 20 hours of overtime lol. One job offered a position but it was usually 40-80 hours of overtime per month, which isn’t bad.
 
I once did 60 days in a row in the Persian Gulf working 14+ hours each day. Environmental oversight and protection on a major offshore construction project. It was physically exhausting work, and in absurdly hot conditions (120-140 degrees). 80+ hours are pretty easy to come by in environmental consulting, depending on the industry you service. I was like that the first two years, but have slowly moved away from that. Every now and then it pops up, I don't mind doing it for a week or two.

My main comment would be that, in some regards, sustained physical work outdoors is easier than office work, especially over a long period of time. With proper sleep and nutrition (they feed you well offshore, they know they need to do it), you can handle it. Scrambling in the office to meet deadlines in front of a computer screen can be mentally exhausting between the work and mental stress you impose on yourself, and there's little you can do for that besides giving yourself a proper amount of time off every now and then. If he died because of it, I'd wager he wasn't eating well or sleeping well at night (worrying about deadlines).
 

Lonestar

I joined for Erin Brockovich discussion
I hope this wasn't meant to be a dick measuring contest. Not everyone has the capabilities of working that long, and you don't know what kind of mental stress she was going through.
No, not meant as one, I agree, I don't think anyone has that ability. Working that long probably effected me long term, and seeing what happened to her (and apparently other people with similar work situations), makes me realize how dumb I was to let myself go through that for months and years.

I might be dumb but how would that be possible? A week has 168 hours total.
I wouldnt think it'd be possible. That's like 1 hour a day for sleep. But I think I originally thought the topic was something in the same vein as those kids that'd play videogames for days straight and end up dying.
 
"Japan needs more workers but can't find them"

You need to open your borders, Japanese friends. I know your culture hates it but otherwise you're at risk of extinction.
Lol they're not going to go extinct.


Every time I see people post stuff like this I get the feeling that the people saying this reallyyyyyyy want to go and live in Japan for some reason.
 
I teach ESL at a Japanese corporation (engineering) and some of the stories are pretty nuts. One of my students last year only got 2 hours of sleep a night. Of course some others arent quite that extreme.
 
I've got guys who work for me that work 70 hours/week and when it slows down in the winter they start screaming for overtime.

They get time and a half after 10 hours/day though so if they work 12 hours on Monday the get 2 hours of overtime. Saturday is always overtime and Sunday is double time.

On topic, this poor woman
 

Keyouta

Junior Member
Glad the company I'm at pays double for any ot you do. Japan's toxic work culture is unsustainable and effects them in multiple aspects of their life. Horrible stuff.
 
As someone who works like 25 hours a week I will never understand this shit. Work to live, goddammit.

EDIT: I remember when I used to work as an office temp in London, my boss said I "wasn't a team player" because I arrived at 8:57am every day and was out the door by 5:03pm at the absolute latest.
For reals these dumb fucks expect us to not have lives. I'm out the fucking door once I've worked my 8 hours
 
In the Navy I routinely did the equivalent of 150+ hours overtime/month.(but we didn’t get any overtime pay)

It fucking sucked. We didn’t have anyone die from the work itself but had like 3 suicides in 3 months in a 400 person department.
 
Investment bankers work 110 hr weeks for multiple years. Its not just Japanese culture.
At least half of that time they aren't doing any actual work or they are doing mundane stuff that requires no thought. While it still sucks overall, it is not really as taxing on the body as it seems on the surface.
 
Yeah I've had that. And I've been told by my boss at my yearly review that my work is good, but I should spend more time socialising with coworkers as they often go out together after work. Fuck off, that's my time
That reminds me of this guy at work who wanted us to form a weekly snooker club. I told him "I already see you 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, why would I want to spend my free time with you as well?". He never mentioned it again.
 
Working for a Japanese company, I did about 80 hours of overtime a month so almost a 1000 hours that year. The burn out was real, and this was in America lol.
 
According to my overtime tracker, I've clocked ~280 hours of overtime in the past 7 weeks.

My body def feels it, and I'm not even 30.
If you're salary instead of hourly, you're getting completely screwed.

Work life balance is a thing.

I'm willing to come in early, or stay late, when needed, but I also come in late or leave early on other days. So long as the job gets done and people are kept up-to-date, it's all good.

I could never work for a company that demanded 80 hour weeks (280/7 is 40) unless I was pulling down a healthy seven figure salary.

All that overtime is going to have an effect on your body since you are pulling 16 hour days (longer when you figure in meal breaks). You're not even leaving yourself enough time to get a full night's sleep each night.

It is also going to have an impact on your work. You are not productive (more likely to make mistakes, taking a lot longer to get simple tasks done, etc.) when you are working crazy hours like that and exhausting yourself.
 
That reminds me of this guy at work who wanted us to form a weekly snooker club. I told him "I already see you 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, why would I want to spend my free time with you as well?". He never mentioned it again.
No offense but you come across as an asshole and that's probably why the guy who was just being nice never mentioned it to you again.
 
This starts in Junior high school, from around age 11/12. Most of my kids get around 5-7 hours hours sleep a night.

It's deep rooted as fuck.

The sad thing is that they think it's needed to maintain the success that Japan had in the recent past. They have no clue.

Foreign terrorism and crime also seems to give them added confirmation bias that Japan is definitely doing the right thing.
 
I'm so glad I'm a Spanish/English tutor. My boss is Swedish, too. So while this is a Japanese company, we don't suffer the horrible Japanese work culture. Don't expect change anytime soon either, Japan is allergic to change.
 
That mindset is so fucked up..

I can somewhat understand to put in crazy working hours if you are self employed.

But working for the "man" and putting your health at risk is just beyond me.
I feel bad for japanese workers having this collective mindset.

Efficiency is key guys and I'm happy that this mindset is embraced by unions and most companies here in germany.
 
I don’t mind doing OT once in a while, but when it becomes a regular occurrence then it gets bad. If I’m lucky, I just have a regular 40/h workweek. However, due to our manning it’s generally +50/h. The worst have been +70/h, I always feel like a zombie after those. Sure, I get time and a half and everything, but after a while I don’t even care about the money. I’d rather just have a good night sleep and my life back.

I couldn’t even imagine 160 hours in a month. Fuck that.
 
What's going on in Japan? Saw an article about people committing suicide because they couldn't take it anymore at their jobs? Why not just quit?
I could be talking out of my ass here, but I think it's a cultural thing stemming from feudal times where a samurai that fell out of favor with his master was expected to commit seppuku because nobody else wanted anything to do with him (in fact, don't they call a salaryman that's between jobs a "ronin"?)