Survey in Japan finds half of companies have morale-draining ‘Ojisan’ slacker

Data on Japan

Society Work

According to a recent survey, middle-aged men who take a lot of breaks or sit idly by are a common characteristic of Japanese companies.

In a survey by management consulting firm Shikigaku, of 1,385 employees across Japan between the ages of 20 and 30, 49.2% said there was a hatarakanai ojisan (non-working middle-aged man) in their business.

Respondents who had a slacker ojisan in their company, he was asked how he spent his time. The most common answers were “takes a lot of breaks” (49.7%) and “sits around doing nothing” (47.7%), as well as “chats unnecessarily” and “surfs the net”.

Among the reasons suggested to explain why these men stopped working, 45.0% think that it is because they have “no motivation to work”, 41.0% answer that it is because their seniority is based on length of employment” and 26.3% say they “cannot be given job responsibilities.”

At 59.7%, the most significant negative effect of having such workers in the company was “decreased morale”. Thus, while 49.0% of younger employees responded that they “had to do the work that wasn’t done,” a greater number felt that losing enthusiasm at work was worse.

When respondents were asked if they thought they might become a slacker in the future, 30.3% said yes and 59.3% thought the most likely reason would be because their achievements professionals would not be reflected in their salary. Another 37.4% said it would be because they didn’t have a good boss.

Shikigaku concluded that the way to prevent employees from turning into slackers was to set salaries based on the assessment of achievement. This would create a clear motivation to work in order to get a higher salary.

The survey also revealed that 47.3% of companies that had leavers ojisan was also lazy obsan (middle-aged women) who also spend their time chatting and taking a lot of breaks, which discourages younger employees from doing their jobs.

(Originally published in Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)

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