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The Best Japanese Work Etiquette Guide Ever

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You don’t need to visit Japan to observe their culture a million miles away. There’s something about the Japanese work etiquette that makes you know manners are very important to them.


Also, there’s a long way good etiquette at work can take you, from being a regular staff to a unique staff. Everyone loves good manners and can easily identify a diamond among the rut. So, aim to be the diamond in your place of work by learning these easily adaptable Japanese work etiquettes.


The best Japanese work etiquette

There are a lot of Japanese workplace culture and etiquettes, but we’ll narrow them down to four. Check them out now and apply them in your work and other aspects of your life.


1. Be prompt always

Japanese workplace culture and etiquette of being early

The Japanese frown upon tardiness. Generally, no one likes a tardy person, but we always seem to find one sort of excuse or the other to justify it. In Japan, there is a saying on promptness. “Being ten minutes early is early, being five minutes early is being on time, and being on-time means that you’re late.” How is it that a minute late isn’t even considered late by some.


We need to embrace and utilise this culture they have. Whatever the occasion is (meetings, one-on-one consultations, or end-of-the-year office parties), the Japanese are always on time. Also, they make it a point to be at least five minutes early. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you, and everyone you know, adopted this work etiquette?


2. Wear the appropriate office uniform

Japanese workplace culture and etiquette of dressing properly

Check yourself out or reflect on your past work outfits. How often do you dress in the proper office uniform of formality? Dressing formally makes you ready for just about anything, especially in the workplace. You need to look the part of someone ready to talk business. It’s a common joke that Japanese business people have a uniform even after they graduate high school.


If your work isn’t as formal, then take note of how clean your outfit is. Also, consider the length of your hemline if you’re female, and men should be careful not to sag their pants.


3. Respect your superiors

Japanese workplace culture and etiquette of respecting seniors

You must have noticed how often the Japanese nod. They nod to greet, say goodbye and do just about every other thing to signify respect. Generally, they nod a lot out of respect. In instances when you can’t greet, you can do a simple nod and they would regard your greeting. Ensure you portray a good impression on your superiors. They might not be too vocal about it, but they certainly notice and respect you for it as well.


4. Nominication hour

Japanese workplace culture and etiquette of having drinks with colleagues

Nominication is a combination of nomu, the Japanese term for “drink”, and “communication”. It is when you have fun with coworkers outside of the office. Often, you catch yourself heading home immediately after work. Sure you have a life after work, but you also need to build a relationship with your colleagues in the workplace. You spend half your day with them anyway.


Many Japanese workplaces value this moment of karaoke parties, bar hopping events and others. They get to know each other from outside the cubicles and even make friends with them, including the boss.


Easy, right? Now apply them and share your experiences.

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