Employees in Japan fatigued over cherry blossoms viewing

Employees are citing events such as these as similar to “work” and would prefer to not use their free time taking part in them.
By: | March 28, 2024

While many would believe that being able to watch cherry blossoms in Japan is a must-see thing to do during April, a group of people seem to disagree: employees who view the cherry blossoms as a work event.

A recent online survey from Job Soken, the research arm of Tokyo-based career consultancy Laibo Inc., was conducted to see Japanese employees’ attitudes toward “hanami,” or cherry blossom viewing, at work. The survey, which received responses from 606 people in their 20s to 50s, saw that roughly 60% of respondents expressed reluctance to participate in such events, considering them as, “work”.

The results indicated that there still seems to be a deep-rooted desire to avoid workplace hanami events even after the coronavirus pandemic.

The most common reason cited for not wanting to participate in hanami was the option, “I want to prioritise my private life”, which saw 51.4% of respondents agreeing. This was followed by the option, “I don’t want to use my day off” at 47.6% and “I am tired of paying attention to others” at 40.5%.

Around 60% of the respondents have also indicated that hanami constituted as either “definitely work”, “work”, or “somewhat work.”

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When analysed by age group, the percentage of those who “do not want to participate” in hanami with their work peers was highest among respondents in their 40s at 69.5%, while the lowest percentage was 55.3% among those in their 20s, indicating that young people tend to be more willing to attend such parties. The figures for those in their 30s and 50s stood at 60.5% and 60.3%, respectively.

“Many working people are tired of interacting with others at work through hanami,” said Masakazu Hori, Head of Laibo’s communication strategy department, reported The Mainichi.