At 3 a.m. on Monday morning, Eriko Fujita leaves the IBM offices in Tokyo. She rushes home to take a shower and get a few hours of sleep before she returns to her office at 7 a.m.
This is the hidden side of life at IBM Japan. For a period of eight months, Fujita, whose name has been changed to protect her anonymity, averages 18 to 20 hours of work per day. Her schedule, which includes Saturdays and Sundays, is particularly demanding since she interfaces with programmers in different time zones.
“We don't have a 5 o’clock-and-get-out kind of culture,” she says with a shrug. While her schedule depends on the specific project, Fujita, in her late twenties, says her typical workday lasts about 15 hours.
“I don’t really have a choice,” she says. “If I have a task and I can finish it within eight hours, then I get out. If I cannot, I need to stay.”
Fujita's situation is not uncommon in Japan, where overtime work has increased as firms cut workforces. About 22% of Japanese employees work 50Read More »from The 100 hour work week in Japan