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Sleeping on the Job is the Norm in Japan

Posted by Melissa Bamberg on

While napping on the job is one of the easiest ways to get reprimanded or fired in the United States, it’s perfectly acceptable in Japan. In fact, there’s even a name for it ─ Inemuri.

In Japan, having a solid work ethic is highly valued. People devote all of their energy to their jobs, often to the extent of exhaustion. While workers in the U.S. often try to do anything in their power to avoid work, in the Japanese workforce, the harder you push yourself, the more respect you’ll gain from your employer.

At the end of the day, Japanese workers don’t bid one another a “goodnight;” they say otsukaresama deshita, meaning “you are tired sir.” This is an indication that the other person has worked very hard all day, which is a high honor.

As a result, if a person falls asleep on the job in Japan, they don’t get in trouble. It’s simply assumed the worker must have pushed the limits and overexhausted themselves. Napping on the job is actually seen as a sign of confidence, demonstrating one’s importance to the company. There are even nap rooms installed in many Japanese offices.

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