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Perseverance Is Required: You Are Expected to be Focused at Work in Any Circumstance in Japan

Perseverance Is Required: You Are Expected to be Focused at Work in Any Circumstance in Japan

If you have spent any time in Japan, you know how distracting everyday life can be. One is bombarded with other people’s noise from morning to night—on the trains, over loud speakers in public areas, and even at home the neighbors can be heard clearly. The workplace is also no haven of peace and quiet. In large Japanese open-plan offices, co-workers sit close enough to hear everyone’s phone calls. They can read one another’s computer screens without even craning their necks. Japanese workers must train themselves to focus on their work in the midst of all the activity.

Japanese religion values and cultivates stillness in the midst of chaos. There is a time and place for everything. For example, if you visit a Japanese company everyone eats lunch at 12:00 noon. Large companies have large cafeterias to handle the rush. Ideally, everyone leaves their desks at the same time and eats at the same time. It is not customary to work and eat at the same time.

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