Key words and phrases:
cornucopia: an abundant supply of good things
consumable: things that can be consumed or eaten
the vast majority of: a high percentage of
conducive to: creating the right environment for, leading to
rigidity: lacking flexibility
compromise: an agreement of a dispute that is reached by give and take
middle ground: an intermediate position of agreement between two opposing views or groups
retain: keep, hold onto (employee retention, customer retention, etc.)
work-life integration: an attempt to bring together work life and personal life harmoniously
We are into a new month and a new season. Autumn is such a wonderful time of the year. With the harvest of so many delicious foods, especially fruits like grapes, pears and persimmons, and of course new rice, it’s a cornucopia of consumable delights!
This year, also brings a new era with regard to the pandemic. The vast majority of the population in Japan is fully vaccinated and people are learning to live with coronavirus. At the same time, other things are becoming more relaxed like not requiring a PCR test when entering Japan and being able to travel more freely.
Yet another change is regarding how people work. Although most people seem to prefer working from home, many companies now require employees to return to the office at least a couple days a week. In speaking with many Japanese friends, it seems that it isn’t the office that people dislike. In fact, most people agree that the office is more conducive to work, including being able to better communicate with colleagues. Rather, the problem is more about the time that is wasted on commuting to and from the office, and, the rigidity of office hours.
In the end, of course employers have the right to insist that staff come back to the office, but there is a risk that some people will leave. Isn’t a compromise possible? By making work hours more flexible, including when employees can start work and leave the office, and by allowing lunch breaks to be more flexible, perhaps the staff would return to the office more willingly.
In the end, employers and employees will agree on some middle ground and find the right balance. After all, a win-win is what everyone wants and is what will allow companies to retain valuable staff. At the same time, employees can find the right work-life balance or work-life integration, whichever your preference. Let’s hope that is realized sooner rather than later.
If you would like to share your thoughts on this, I invite you to write me at address shown below. Wherever you are and wherever you are working from, remember to take time to enjoy all the goodness Japan has to offer…like the great harvests.
Wishing you health and happiness always.
Tailor Made Inc.