5 ways Japanese work culture is drastically different from the US
- The culture in a Japanese work environment differs greatly from that of an American workplace.
- While Americans generally have to be self-motivated, Japanese employees embrace a group mentality and look to their superiors for approval before making big decisions.
- However, both cultures work extremely long hours and take little vacation time during the year.
Many major companies, such as Amazon, Alphabet, and Facebook, now have tens of thousands of employees around the world, and there are some lucrative opportunities overseas. Japan, for instance, is accepting more foreign workers.
But before you hop on a plane, know that office culture still varies greatly among countries. How many hours you are expected to work, how you dress, your relationship with your boss and coworkers, and more can vastly change depending on where you are.
I grew up in the U.S. and lived in Tokyo for half a year. These are the biggest differences I noticed between American and Japanese work culture:
Japanese workplaces are more formal
In Japanese companies, employees must get their superiors' approval whenever they make a decision
American workplaces focus on the individual; Japanese workplaces focus on the group
Japanese workers are often expected to party with coworkers after hours
In both countries, employees work long hours and take few breaks
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