This book is a book that analyzes the data of a large-scale survey of more than 20,000 people and thoroughly elucidates the actual situation of overtime work from all angles.
In recent years, "work style reform" has been called for. In fact, more companies should be implementing measures such as forced shutdown of personal computers. On the other hand, there may be many companies that are implementing only top-down personnel measures that do not care about the actual situation at the site, and have a “defeated mood” at the site.
Why is there a custom of long working hours in Japan in the first place? What kind of history has long working hours become the norm? Why does overtime not go away? What do people who work long hours think? These questions must be considered in terms of their structure, not only based on personal experiences, but also on the basis of data and evidence.
This book provides such a structural examination. If you read this book, you will understand all about overtime work in Japan. Of course, not only all data but also concrete overtime reduction measures based on the data are presented. I hope you will read it from the perspective of "Is the same thing happening at your company?" And "What if you introduce this measure into your company?"
How can we realize a work style that both the company and the individual who works can feel hope? How can we secure workers in Japan, where the birthrate is declining and the population is aging? Please take this book as an opportunity to think about it.
The main point of the book
Long working hours pose risks to both individuals and businesses.
Overtime is "concentrated" on people who can work, "infected" with the tacit understanding, and "inherited" from the boss to his subordinates.
There are two types of overtime reduction measures: "surgery" and "Chinese medicine". To succeed in "surgery", "visualize" overtime work, increase the commitment of the company, overcome the "valley of death" one month after the introduction, and "visualize" the effect of overtime work. The point is to "return" the bill.
[Must read point!] Why is "work style reform" necessary?
"Worker" = "People who can work long hours"?
Overtime and long working hours are long-standing problems. Why is it getting so much attention now?
Behind this is the declining birthrate and aging population. In order to support an aging society, it is necessary to increase the number of workers, but "long working hours" is a barrier. Unless the custom of long working hours is abolished, only those who can work long hours can work. In other words, "people who cannot work long hours" such as double-income couples, foreigners, and the elderly will not be able to work. In order to manage a Japanese society with a shortage of workers, it is necessary to eliminate the tendency of long working hours to be commonplace and to be able to choose a work style that meets the needs of each individual.
The negative effects of long working hours are not limited to labor shortages. It is also closely linked to issues such as death from overwork and low labor productivity. Overtime can be said to be an issue that should be improved immediately.
Risks that overtime poses to individuals
Long working hours poses two risks to workers.
The first is "health risk." In Japan, where the birthrate is declining and the population is aging, it is necessary to continue working even in old age in order to secure workers. You must be physically and mentally healthy to continue working for a long time, but long working hours can damage your health and mental health. In order to continue working for a "long time", it is important not to continue working for a "long time".
The second is "learning risk." In modern times, business is changing rapidly, and the skills and experience once acquired can no longer be used. Therefore, in order to become a person who can be used even if you move to another organization, you must constantly learn new things. Working long hours will leave you with no time to learn or relearn new knowledge.
Risks that overtime poses to companies
Forcing employees to work long hours also poses a risk to corporate management.
The first is “risk related to recruitment”. It is said that in 2030, Japan will run out of 6.44 million workers. Moreover, foreigners, human resources who can work globally, and young people who place importance on work-life balance tend to avoid long working hours. It is not difficult to imagine that companies that are forced to work long hours will have a hard time hiring in an era where the inside of the company is visualized by SNS.
The second is "risk of human resource development and early turnover." A survey of new employees found that 75.9% wanted a "workplace with less overtime and more time for themselves." If the working environment is not improved, people hired for millions of yen will soon leave their jobs.
The third is "risks related to service development and innovation." Innovation is indispensable for a company to survive, but overtime does not mean that innovation can be created. It is the heterogeneous events and discussions with diverse people that give rise to innovation. The longer you work in the office, the less chance you have of having such an experience.
The fourth is "risks related to labor management and compliance." The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare tends to crack down on violations of the Labor Standards Act. Companies that neglect long working hours are at high risk of being sanctioned by the government and society.
Background of overtime culture taking root in Japan
Behind the rooting of overtime culture in Japan is the "infinity of time" and "infinity of work" in the Japanese workplace.
The cause of "infinity of time" is the lack of effectiveness of laws and regulations. The Labor Standards Law stipulates that the upper limit of working hours is 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week. However, as long as an agreement is signed, overtime work and holiday work are permitted. Meanwhile, in Europe, excess overtime is subject to legal penalties.
The cause of "work infinity" is "work interdependence". In other words, the scope of personal work is not clear, and the scope of responsibility is unclear. So even if I finish my work, it's hard to go home unless someone else is done. You will be required to help other people's work and follow up with young people.
In the Japanese workplace, these two have a negative synergistic effect and promote overtime.
People who feel "happiness" in overtime
Some people feel "happiness" in long working hours and continue to work overtime. The author calls this psychological state "overtime paralysis." There are two factors in overtime paralysis.
The first is "organizational factors." The atmosphere of united efforts toward goals and trying to help other members' work when they are free is increasing the sense of unity of the organization. It is also known that expectations for lifetime employment also increase the sense of well-being.
The second is "career factors." "Most wishes will come true if you make a serious effort" "It is more efficient to work overtime alone for most jobs" "Individual ability" and "Promotion to more than current position at the company" "I have a chance" and "I want to work for this company all the time" are affecting the happiness of overtime work.
In addition, people who are paralyzed overtime are more likely to feel that they are working overtime for their own growth. Specifically, it is 4.2 times that of people who are not paralyzed overtime. But does this sense of growth really lead to essential growth?
Adult learning requires "three principles": (1) struggling for a slightly more difficult job, (2) looking back on past behavior, and (3) reliable feedback from others. However, according to a survey, people who work long hours are in a situation where they can't look back and have no feedback from others, and they are not leading to growth as much as they realize. ..
Overtime is "concentrated," "infected," and "hereditary."
Why does overtime occur? The key lies in "concentration," "infection," and "heredity."
First is "concentration". Work concentrates on those who can. The mechanism is as follows. People who can work think that overtime is due to their lack of skills, and strive to improve work efficiency. If the overtime hours are reduced due to the efforts, you will be able to entrust more work and you will have to work overtime again. This is repeated.
Next is "infection". According to the survey, the factor with the highest impact on overtime was "an atmosphere that makes it difficult to return if the people around you are still working." Other than that, I have to work overtime due to the tacit understanding that everyone is following, although it is not clearly stated, such as "atmosphere to spare time for work" and "encouragement to come to work before the start time". ing. This is an overtime infection.
Finally, "heredity". When a person who worked overtime for a long time when he was young becomes a boss, his subordinates tend to work overtime longer. Long working hours employment practices are passed down from previous generations of bosses to current subordinates.
As can be seen from the above, overtime is not caused by individual lack of ability. Born in the atmosphere of the workplace and relationships.
The key to work style reform
Pitfalls of overtime measures
Why do companies' overtime reduction measures fail? There are three pitfalls.
The first is the pitfall of "copy and paste measures". Many companies try to copy and paste the success stories of other companies. It remains to be considered whether the measures are suitable for the structure of the company or whether they will lead to the solution of the problems of the company. Measures that are far from the needs of the field quickly become a mere ghost.
The second is the pitfall of "one voice of a crane". Certainly, reducing overtime requires management commitment. However, in order for the measures to take root throughout the organization, on-site commitment is also essential. If the measures are forcibly implemented in a top-down manner, the site may be "sentaku" to the top and pretend that overtime hours have decreased.
The third is the pitfall of the "touch book model". No matter how good a measure is, it is meaningless unless it is communicated to all employees. According to the survey results, about 20% of the measures are announced only by intranet or mass e-mail. Instead of telling one-sidedly like a tactile note, you have to pay attention to whether it was transmitted properly.
Points of overtime reduction measures
So how can we reduce overtime hours? According to the author, the method can be divided into two. There are "surgery" and "Chinese medicine" methods.
“Surgery” includes the implementation of no overtime days, the setting of an upper limit on overtime hours, the prohibition of overtime in principle, the introduction of a pre-approval system, and stricter attendance management. If these measures do not work, overtime will become a black box and the organizational condition will deteriorate, but it is certain that the effects are easy to see.
So how can "surgery" be successful? There are four points.
The first is to "visualize" overtime hours. Employers and bosses can check directly or manage objectively by introducing a labor management system, time card, entry / exit management, etc. It is also good to grasp "invisible overtime" by anonymous questionnaires and hearings.
The second is to increase commitment. Decide how much results you will achieve by when, select measures, and make them known. Let's continue to appeal the importance of the measures and let us know that the company is serious.
Third is to overcome the "Valley of Death". It is known that the effect of the measure is the weakest in the first month after the introduction and then increases. It is important to continue the measures beyond this "one month" valley.
Fourth, "visualize" the effect and "return" the overtime pay. In return for the measures, you can continue to be motivated by showing the results and returning the overtime pay. In particular, the return of overtime pay is effective. It should also be noted that there is no new implementation cost because the overtime pay that had been paid up to that point can be reduced.
Recommendation of reading
Why can't we realize the effect while discussions on work style reform are being held in the Diet? I felt that the reason was that there was no concrete discussion based on the huge amount of data like this book. This book is an important book for realizing a Japanese society where everyone can work while feeling a sense of purpose.
I couldn't write it in the summary, but I also need to read the part that talks about "Kampo treatment" measures aiming for medium- to long-term effects. Specifically, it is a method of reducing overtime and changing to a highly productive organization with the two pillars of "management transformation" and "organizational transformation." If "surgical treatment" and "Chinese medicine treatment" are combined, it will surely have a big impact.