「ST」は紙名を新たに「Alpha」として2018年6月29日より新創刊しました。 Alpha以降の英文記事はこちら
「ST」は紙名を新たに「Alpha」として2018年6月29日より新創刊しました。 Alpha以降の英文記事はこちら


Saying goodbye

By Anthony Fensom


When it comes time to say goodbye to your job, are you expecting a big farewell party? Or will it be a case of quietly shaking hands and walking out the door as you say your final "sayonara"?

When British boss Mark Sebba walked into work for his last day after 11 years in charge, he got more than he bargained for. Instead of the usual "good luck" card or a bottle of wine, the chief executive of luxury retailer Net-A-Porter was greeted by staff from around the world dancing and singing.

The send-off involved workers from as far away as Hong Kong and New York City joining in the celebrations via video. Inside his London office, staff banged on drums and sang along to Aloe Blacc's song The Man, while another crowd joined in on the street outside.

After watching a performance involving acrobats, samba dancers and a Mexican mariachi band, the bemused boss thanked his staff and simply said, "How about getting back to work?"

Not every boss or worker can expect the kind of farewell given to Sebba. And with retirement ages on the rise, that final goodbye is getting further and further away for each generation.

But if that causes you to curse "The Man" instead of singing his praises, the good news is that you may soon be spending more time away from the office.

Japan's workaholics are well known for putting in extra hours, if only to keep up with colleagues and appease their bosses. The nation even has its own word for death by overwork, "karoshi," which claims an estimated 200 victims a year.

In an apparent act of desperation, the labour ministry is now planning to force workers to take at least five days' paid holiday a year. Adding this to the 15 official national holidays, Japanese workers could approach the British level of 20 days annual leave, or even the French, who average 25, by the end of the decade.

Cutting back on office time may even boost productivity if we work smarter, not harder. According to a McKinsey survey, as much as half the time spent by company leaders is wasted on email, meetings and other unproductive activities.

Spending less time at the office could be key to maximising your time, and ensuring you are around to enjoy that final goodbye, samba dancers or otherwise. Dear readers, goodbye!



The Japan Times ST: March 20, 2015

The Japan Times ST 読者アンケート




2018年6月29日号    試読・購読   デジタル版