September 8, 2016


Survey Shows More than 60% of Japanese Workers Want to Give Higher Priority to Personal Lives

Keywords: Well-Being 

Image by Ryuta Ishimoto Some Rights Reserved.

The Research Institute for Advancement of Living Standards in Japan released its 31st Short-Term Survey of Workers in May 2016. The survey showed that regarding work-life balance, 63.5 percent of respondents want to give higher priority to their personal lives. However, the percentage of respondents who actually prioritize their personal lives was 37.5%, 26 points lower than those who wish to do so. Among those working more than 50 hours per week, the difference was nearly 40 points.

Also, of those whose work hours are over 50 hours per week, about 65% said they want to work less. It should be noted that the percentage of respondents wishing to reduce work hours was about 30% for non-regular employees as opposed to 50% or more for regular employees. These results show that regular employees and employees with long work hours are working longer hours than they wish.

That being the case, how can work hours be reduced? This survey also asked about effective approaches to do so, including better access to paid vacation, flexible work hour systems, and reducing overtime and holiday work (e.g. by establishing no-overtime days), each of which over 20% of respondents said is effective.

This survey (web monitoring survey using the Internet) targeted 2,000 private company employees living in the Greater Tokyo Area and the Kansai Region. The Research Institute for Advancement of Living Standards has conducted this kind of questionnaire survey every six months since 2001 to assess workers' perceptions of economic trends as well as their work and lives.

Written by Naoko Niitsu

From Happiness Studies News (Institute for Studies in Happiness, Economy and Society)
http://ishes.org/happy_news/ (Available in Japanese)