More young fathers in Japan are prioritising family over work
If given a choice, young employees in Japan who are fathers would choose to spend less time at work and more time with their families.
According to a government survey of 20,000 working people conducted last December, 34.1% of men and 23.2% of women want to reduce their working hours, with over 40% of both genders desiring more quality time to spend with their families.
For male employees aged between 20 to 39, who work a minimum of 46 hours of monthly overtime, there are several reasons that hinder them from reducing their work hours. Heavy workloads are cited by 47.5% of respondents, while 38.6% pointed out labour shortages. Additionally, 32.7% said there is a tendency for employers to positively evaluate individuals who work overtime, and 30.5% expressed difficulties in gaining understanding from colleagues or superiors.
“In many cases, men are working long hours not because they want to,” said Japan’s Cabinet Office, which is compiling a white paper based on key findings from the survey.
To facilitate individuals in achieving their desired work-life balance, the white paper called for measures that rectify long working hours, encourage male employees to take parental leave, and create a supportive environment that alleviates concerns about leaving children in daycare facilities, reported The Japan Times.
Should these come to fruition, 30% of fathers in their 20s and 30s have indicated an interest to be more involved in housework and childcare. Specifically, 27.7% of male respondents aged 20 to 39 with children desire greater participation in domestic responsibilities, while 14.1% aim to reduce their roles in these areas.