In film and television works, there are often scenes of Japanese sitting upright and having serious meetings. In fact, in Japan, whether working in small enterprises, large companies or government departments, meetings are indeed the norm at work.
Some people even think that the Japanese use working hours to meet and work off-duty hours.” The culture of meeting is deeply rooted in Japan. Author Kenhiko Tanaka once criticized: “The Japanese’s obsession with meetings is hopeless.”
A meeting is held before disaster strikes.
The love of meeting is a common problem in Japan. The Japanese meeting is characterized by high frequency, long time and large number of participants. In a meeting of more than 20 people, there are often only about four people who actually speak.
For people who are “away from C position”, long meetings can be called a hypnotic, but no matter how much you want to fall asleep, you should keep listening attentively, taking notes seriously, and secretly playing with your mobile phone? Don’t think about it! So some netizens complained on Twitter: “The meeting kept in a row, accidentally yawned a few times, and was called to talk alone by the leader…” After the morning meeting, the afternoon meeting schedule began again. Finally, I looked forward to the end of the day’s meeting, and the next meeting schedule was put on the agenda.
Therefore, in Japan, both students and office workers have a small notebook or an APP with a schedule on their mobile phone to record meetings and meeting materials that need to be prepared.
A plot in the Japanese science fiction film New Godzilla also reflects the characteristics of the Japanese’s love of meetings. Many Chinese netizens commented after watching the film: “Why is Godzilla destroying Japan? They are still busy with meetings?” Some netizens summarized the storyline of the film: Godzilla is coming–don’t panic, hold a meeting first; Godzilla is going to go ashore–don’t be afraid, hold a meeting first; Godzilla has landed!-Don’t run, have a meeting quickly…
The Japanese like to hold meetings, but can everyone really solve the problem by discussing together? In fact, many Japanese believe that “although the final conclusion is that the superiors designate, everyone must participate in the process, which is also a manifestation of collectivism and corporate cohesion”. Many foreigners working in Japanese enterprises are also deeply touched. A female employee from Iran told me: “The company has many workplace meetings every week and needs all personnel to attend.
But the content of the meeting has nothing to do with my work, and I don’t understand the significance of such a meeting!” Despite doubts and puzzles, if you want to truly integrate into the Japanese workplace and society, as a foreigner, you can only eliminate doubts and attend the meeting on time.
All kinds of conference rooms are blooming everywhere.
In order to meet people’s meeting needs, there are many places to rent conference rooms in Japan. Even the famous Tokyo International Convention Center has the business of renting conference rooms.
It has also launched a limited menu for conference participants. Sweet and delicious desserts with fragrant drinks, sitting in the conference room full of artistic atmosphere for meetings. It’s a good experience.
Videoconferencing makes people “nowhere to escape”
Search for “meeting culture” on the Japanese website, and you can see many results about “ineffective meetings”. Professor Jun Nakahara of Ritsu University once conducted a survey on the invalid meetings within the company. “Invalid meetings have caused 10,000 Japanese enterprises to lose 670,000 hours and 1.5 billion yen a year”, which can be said to be quite alarming.
Some Japanese media also said that “the form of the Japanese meeting is simply like holding a funeral”, for the following reasons: the meeting is very large; many of the participants are just spectators and do not need to speak; the content that should end in five minutes can be delayed to an hour; the result is “no result”; careful and rigorous seating arrangements; the meeting begins. It takes 15 minutes to exchange business cards…
During the epidemic, many Japanese companies held meetings online every day. Today, some companies have resumed working in their units, but there are still many companies that work online and continue to use online meetings such as Zoom.
So a new word called “Zoom fatigue” came into being. The emergence of the coronavirus epidemic has not restrained the Japanese who love to hold meetings.
On the contrary, online meetings have brought people more distress. Some Japanese netizens complained: “In the past, there are up to three or four meetings a day.
Since I started to use Zoom video conferencing, I have held eight consecutive meetings a day!” Just after 10 p.m., I was about to take a break when the leader suddenly sent a message saying that it was too desperate to let the online meeting be held! Many Japanese media are leading the public to discuss the issue that the popularity of online meetings should be used as an opportunity to change the inefficient meeting in Japan.
There are also experts who suggest that the efficiency of meetings should be improved by reducing the number of participants, controlling the duration of meetings, reducing the preparation of materials, and sharing meeting materials in advance, increase the enthusiasm of employees for the meeting, and also reduce production costs.