5 Work Ethic Lessons from Japan that Pinoys Need to Follow

By July 17, 2017Inspiration, Power Tip

I spent most of last week in Tokyo, Japan for an immersion and trends update from one of our partners in PLDT, NTT Docomo. While I learned a lot in terms of digital business models, tech trends, and marketing strategies, what struck me the most was the work ethic of the Japanese. That said I’ve compiled 5 very simple but important tips that I believe Filipinos should adapt and follow. Check them out below and let me know what you guys think in the comments section below!

1. Filipino Time has to Die

The Japanese make it a point to be early so that they’re not late for their meetings. I remember seeing a line starting to form at the reception of the office we were visiting at around 9:55AM. Our Japanese colleague shared with us that those people are lining up for their 10:00AM meeting.

That said, Filipino Time has to die. I’m guilty of this as well but maybe it’s time that we realize and accept that being late is disrespectful to the ones we are meeting regardless of their level. If you’re about to be late for another meeting because your earlier one is extending, best to do a hard stop or try to wrap up quickly and make decisions when you’re running out of time already.

Read Also: 5 Game-Changing Lessons Filipino Companies Can Learn from Silicon Valley

2. Line up for Elevators and Stay Quiet When You’re In It

This is my pet peeve in the Philippines. A lot of Filipinos don’t have proper elevator etiquette. They don’t line up for the elevator and worse there are those who are noisy when riding one already. In Japan it’s almost serene when you’re riding elevators. No on talks or answers their phones. It’s showing respect for everyone riding the lift.

3. Print-outs Are Fine

We had a lot of meetings and got a lot done without having to use a projector. We were given handouts and we went through them together with our partners. It was fast, no tech issues, and almost all of our meetings started and ended on time.

4. Stop Using Your Phones During Meetings

I must have had at least 10 meetings during my stay in Tokyo. Not one single Japanese pulled out their phone to read a message, text someone, or answer a call during all of our meetings. They had a pen, notebook, and their handouts. That’s it.

Here in the Philippines we have a lot of people fiddling with their phones, laptops, and tablets during meetings. In short, they’re not giving their 100% to the meeting because they’re distracted answering emails or doing other things. Set aside gadgets for meetings and focus on what needs to be decided on so you can finish on time and make the time productive for everyone.

See Also: Why 7PM-1AM is the Most Important Time in Your Life

5. Dress Up Properly and Show Respect

Last, but definitely not the least, is to dress properly not to look good for yourself but to show respect for the people you’re meeting.

And that’s it! Let us know what you guys think in the comments section below!

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Carlo Ople

Author Carlo Ople

Founder and writer of Unlocked.ph and for full disclosure I'm also the Vice-President for Digital Marketing Strategy of PLDT/Smart, the largest telco in the Philippines. Prior to this I co-founded a digital advertising agency (DM9 Digit) which we sold to Dentsu, the largest single branded agency in the world. I also co-founded one of the biggest tech websites in the country, Unbox (unbox.ph). Views do not represent PLDT/Smart and are purely my own.

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