【The Economist】日本的职场改革

2018年05月27日

来源:搜狐

了解一下日本的加班文化以及对策。

翻译:Henry

校对:甜菜/Bridget

Workplace reform in Japan

日本的职场改革

Calling time

哨声响起

Employers and the government are trying to tackle overwork

日本政府和老板们试图解决加班问题

SANAE ABUTA is a manager at Panasonic, a giant electronics manufacturer, in Osaka. One day she may work from 9am to 5.45pm. On another she may take a break in the middle, to go to the bank or see a doctor. Or she will stay with her child in the morning and start at 11am. One day a week she works from home. “I appreciate the flexibility,” she says.

Sanae Abuta是大型电子产品制造商松下(Panasonic)在大阪的经理。她的一天,可能是从早上9点工作到下午5点45分。也可能是中途休息,去银行或者去看医生;又或者是,早上她会和孩子呆在一起,11点再开始工作她每周有一天是在家工作的。“我很欣赏这样工作的灵活性“,她说。

Ms Abuta’s schedule is unusual in Japan. Long office hours are seen a proxy for hard work, itself regarded as the cornerstone of Japan’s post-war economic boom. Companies offer to look after employees for life in return for a willingness to dedicate that life to the company, including “service” (ie, unpaid) overtime or moving house on demand. People hesitate to leave the office before their peers, and certainly before their boss. Some sleep at their desks. Convenience stores sell shirts for workers who have no time to go home and change. Death by overwork is so common—191 people in the year to March 2017—that there is a word for it (karoshi).

阿布塔女士的日程安排在日本并不寻常。长时间的办公被看作是努力工作的代名词,其本身也被认为是战后日本经济繁荣的基石。公司愿意照顾员工终生,作为回报,员工也要愿意为公司奉献一生,包括“服务”(即无薪)加班或按需搬家。人们不愿先于同事离开办公室,更不愿意在老板前离开。有些人甚至睡在自己的书桌上。便利商店向没有时间回家换衣服的员工出售衬衫。在日本,因过度工作而死亡的现象实在是太普遍了——截至2017年3月,其导致的死亡人数达到了191人——以至于都有一个专门的称呼,也就是“过劳死”(karoshi)。

Employers and politicians want to make workplaces friendlier. In 2016 the government launched an annual report on karoshi and started to name and shame workplaces—which last year included Panasonic—that violate existing rules. The Diet (parliament) is debating a bill which would cap monthly overtime at 100 hours.

雇主和政客们想让工作场所变得更友好。在2016年,政府发布了一份关于过劳死的年度报告,并开始点名批评这些工作场所——去年,松下就位列其中——违反了现行法规。国会正在就一项法案进行辩论,该法案将把加班时间限制在每月100小时以内。

The government hopes that relaxing the work culture will boost productivity (where Japan underperforms the OECD, a club of rich nations) and maybe even combat deflation (it has pushed the idea of freeing workers at 3pm on some Fridays so they can go shopping). Businesses, for their part, are under pressure to attract employees, especially women, amid a severe labour shortage at home.

政府希望放松工作文化可以提高生产力(日本在经济合作与发展组织——一个由富裕国家组成的俱乐部——中表现不佳),甚至还可能防止通货紧缩(日本已经推行了一项政策:员工在某些星期五的下午三点就可以下班,这样他们就可以去购物了)。就企业而言,由于国内严重的劳动力短缺,企业招工难,尤其是招女性员工更是难上加难。

Some big names are changing their ways. An employee at the national broadcaster, NHK, notorious for all- nighters, says hours have got better and that bosses are nervous about overloading staff. Hitachi, a conglomerate, is leasing co- working spaces so workers don’t have to commute to the office from afar. Clerks at 7- Eleven’s convenience stores are getting flexible hours.

一些大公司正在改变他们的做法。日本广播公司(NHK)——本来是以通宵加班而臭名昭著,据一名员工透露,现在工作安排时间更加合理,老板们都很紧张加班的员工。集团企业日立(Hitachi)正在租赁联合办公空间,这样员工就不必远距离通勤上班。7-11(7-Eleven)便利店内的店员工作时间也越来越灵活。

Yuka Sanui, who heads Panasonic’s efforts, admits that “change is slow”. Not many of Ms Abuta’s colleagues are taking advantage of the company’s schemes. In most places, few workers opt for holidays or child-care allowances. Shaking up Japan’s work culture requires deeper labour reforms, says Yumiko Murakami of the OECD. Paying for performance rather than seniority would be a start, by making employees less hesitant to leave oppressive firms and to seek out friendlier ones. In her previous life at an investment bank Ms Murakami toiled endless hours most days. “But I knew if I didn’t like it, I could go elsewhere.”

松下公司的负责人Yuka Sanui承认“变化是缓慢的”。阿布塔女士的许多同事并没有采纳公司的方案。在大多数地方,很少有工人选择假期或托儿津贴。经合组织的Yumiko Murakami说,要想改变日本的工作文化,需要更深入的劳工改革。为业绩而不是为工龄付薪将会是一个开始,让员工不再如此纠结于离开难以忍受的公司,从而去寻找更友好的公司。之前Murakami女士在一家投资银行工作,她大多数时间都在没完没了的工作。”但我知道如果我不喜欢,我可以跳槽到别的地方“。

Notes:

Proxy:a person authorized to act for another;a power of attorney document given by shareholders of a corporation authorizing a specific vote on their behalf at a corporate meeting

e.g.

The business service owner will decide what functionality the service provides, he or she is the service designer’s “proxy” to the business side.

业务服务所有者将决定服务提供什么样的功能,他或她是服务设计者在业务方面的代理人。

Combat:to stop sth unpleasantly or harmful form happening or from getting worse

e.g.

Measures to combat crime/inflation/disease

防止犯罪/通货膨胀/疾病的措施

All-nighters:an event or activity that continues throughout the night

e.g.

Less than a month and many all-nighters later, Heap and a friend had created Haystack.

经过许多个通宵,不到一个月,西普和他的朋友做出了“草垛”

Conglomerate:a group of diverse companies under common ownership and run as a single organization

e.g.

Legend Holdings is an investment conglomerate partly owned by the Chinese government.

联想控股是由中国政府部分持有的投资企业集团。

Toil:n. productive work (especially physical work done for wages);v. work hard

e.g.

We see on every hand the results of the farmer’s toil and forecast in the springtime.

从每一位农民的手上,我们看到了辛勤劳作的成果和春天期望的实现。

Analysis:

第一段:用Sanae Abuta女士的例子引出本文主题——即日本严重的加班问题;

第二段:进一步举例说明日本加班问题的严重性;

第三段和第四段:日本政府意识到该问题后做出的举措;

第五段:日本的企业做出的举措;

第六段:举例说明日本的加班问题要改变任重道远。

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