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Workers in Japan Get to Have Monday Mornings Off to Cure Monday Blues



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For most workers, Monday is the worst day of the week as it marks the end of weekend freedom and the start of a new week of work. However, the Japanese government is working on ways to cure all Monday blues!

Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry is currently working on a plan to improve the citizens’ work-life balance, as reported by The Telegraph.

The plan is called “Shining Monday” which aims to resolve the problem of ‘karoshi‘, a Japanese term used to describe death by overwork, by encouraging companies to reduce employees’ overtime.

According to a report by NBC, there are a number of high-profile cases of karoshi. One of them involved a 24-year-old victim Matsuri Takahashi who took her life in 2015 due to overtime stress.

It was reported that the Japanese culture of working long hours started during the 1960s when employees who stayed late at work were valued as hard workers.

“Shining Monday” is a spin-off of an earlier programme launched by the Japanese government last year called “Premium Friday”, in which companies were required to tell employees to leave early on the last Friday of every month so they could have more quality time with friends and family.

The government hoped that by doing so, they would be able to reduce work-related stress and boost the economy as more people spend their money on going out. The plan also aimed to tackle the problem of a shrinking population in Japan by encouraging couples to have children.

Source: SoraNews24

However, the plan did not achieve its target benefits as the end of the month is usually a very busy time for companies in Japan, as reported by SoraNews24. Employees, though aware of the initiative, were unable to clock out early as month accounts and projects usually pile up at the end of the month.

Therefore, the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry is proposing “Shining Monday” as an alternative plan.

Under the proposal, companies will let employees take the morning off on Monday, and turn up at work after lunch once a month! How cool is that?

In the concept’s first test run, which was conducted in late July, the ministry revealed that 30 per cent of its staff had the first half of Monday (July 27) off.

Encouraged by the result, the ministry is pushing efforts to implement “Shining Monday”. However, companies are given the freedom to choose if they would want to introduce it in the workplace.

Such great news for the Japanese citizens! Do you think “Shining Monday” is a good plan to improve employees’ work-life balance? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!


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