Life balance: Yoshie Komuro at TEDxTokyo

Life balance: Yoshie Komuro at TEDxTokyo

Translator: Reiko Bovee
Reviewer: Krystian Aparta Hello everyone. I am sure you know that the birth rate in Japan
is quite low today. Why do you think it is so? Why do you think women in Japan
don’t want to have kids? I know why from my experience. My son is now 6 years old. You may be surprised to see
how cute he is in this picture. (Laughter) After I gave birth to him 6 years ago, I really had a hard time. My parents live far from where I live
so nobody but my husband was my help. But those days,
he was coming home around 2 a.m. Whenever I put my baby
down in the crib, he cried. I didn’t know what to do. When I thought that
if he would ever die in my arms, it would be all my fault, I got scared and started crying
and kept crying. When he’d finally fall asleep,
and I gingerly put him down into the crib, my husband would come home
as if he knew it was the right time, and he’d wake up the baby
by slamming the door. I even told my husband
I would rather he didn’t come home! Because of this experience,
I never wanted to have another baby. I believe the long
working hours of husbands cause the low birth rate in Japan. Since then, my husband’s working schedule
has dramatically changed. He now helps me with household chores,
doing as much as I do. My attitude has also completely changed, and I began to want to have another child. In fact, I am pregnant
with the second child! (Applause) Thank you. My attitude has really changed. The birth rate is not
the only problem we’re facing. All sorts of problems,
such as depression, diversity, elderly care, financial problems
are piled up. Nevertheless, there are ways to fix them
without depending on public finance. That is, not to have long working hours. I would like to talk
about that idea today. I have been working as a consultant
giving advice to 900 companies concerning their ways of working. Some companies even have more revenue after cutting down
their overtime hours by 30%. The actual revenue won’t go down. Actually the more time they spend at work,
the worse their results become, because their business spirals down
into an abysmal low. The number of Japanese people
who work overtime more than 60 hours is higher than any other countries. But the contributing value
of each individual is the lowest among
the industrialized countries. As their out-of-work experience
diminishes, their ability to bring new ideas to work
decreases as well. No matter how much time
they spend at a meeting, their lack of new ideas
means the meeting wouldn’t go anywhere. Only poor ideas come up,
so the meeting drags on; they can’t go home;
the products won’t sell. This vicious cycle has no end. There is also the responsibility
for their aging parents. The baby boomers will be
in their 70s in the next 5 years. Consequently, the number of people
in the following generation who are going to take care
of their aging parents, and will have to allocate their time
for work and their aging parents, will suddenly increase. The car company T has 68,000 people. 14,000 people out of them are estimated to start taking care of their parents
in the next 5 years. One out of 5 employees! To cope with this problem, we had better quit
working long hours, right? But people worry that if we limit
the working hours, it may lower productivity
and diminish our will to compete. Instead, I would rather say
the effect is opposite. This is what I want
to convey to you today. By comparing company A
that keeps long working hours and company B with revolutionary ideas, I would like to show you how different
the outcomes would be. Company A keeps long working hours, laying off people
in order to cut down the overheads. As a result, that imposes
a burden on the people who remain in the company, and it turns out that the overtime costs more than the savings
from laying off people. On top of that,
the most competent people leave. The consequences are more depressed people and lack of concentration at work. The overall cost increases after all. This is the situation
many companies increasingly fall into. To make the matter worse,
when some permanently leave work to care for their elderly parents, due to the lay-offs,
there aren’t enough people to cover the work of the people
who left the company. To fix the problem
they try to hire new employees, but competent people won’t apply
to a company like that. Keeping the company afloat
is getting harder and harder, and it tumbles down
into the abysmal plunge. What about company B,
which has revolutionary ideas? They also want to lower the fixed costs, but they focus on
cutting down overtime instead, and actively hire young people
as full-time employees, and hire women who need to work
on limited schedules. I have been running my company
without overtime for the past six years. All the best employees
in my firm are actually women who work on their limited schedules. Working hours and outcome
do not correlate. Those who only have
a limited time they can work are highly efficient
even in a short period. Not only the employees’ efficiency but also the diversity of gender and age individually add high value to the company as their varied ideas inspire one another. Even if some miss work
to care for their parents, there are enough people
to cover their missed work. Those who need time
to care for babies or parents don’t even have to permanently leave work. This kind of company attracts
more competent people, and it becomes a sustainable company
with promising productivity. You may say you don’t have
a baby or an elderly parent to care for, but this also greatly
influences your life, because the fact of whether or not
you keep working overtime will decide Japan’s economic future. Continuing to have long working hours
will have the following consequences. First, because we don’t have time
to care for our aging parents, we ask the government
for 24-hour elderly-care facilities which puts more financial burdens
on the government. We ask to extend the time
our kids can stay at the nursery, because we can’t leave work
to pick up kids before the school closes. The time extension makes
the school go into the red, and it turns into
the local government’s deficit. At home we can’t have enough time
to nurture our children because both parents work overtime. We don’t have time
to check our kid’s homework, so we depend
on the After School Care program. Women can’t balance
their career and raising children. Responsibility for child care
drives about 70% of women in Japan to permanently leave their work. Therefore their pension will be lower, and that will lead to more people
who will rely on welfare in the future. Since companies
can’t produce much revenue, they can’t afford to hire any new people. So, they ask for
employment adjustment subsidy in order to meet
the government quota to hire more. On and on like this,
the financial pressure on the government escalates. The tighter the government
financing becomes, the more the citizens are burdened
by increasing taxes. What will happen
if we quit working long hours? We will be able to have time
to care for our elderly parents coming home as scheduled, while coordinating
with home or respite care. We will also be able
to pick up our kids in time. Since both parents can continue working, our two incomes can support our families. And I think the most important thing
in our families is: Fathers can have time to listen to their kids every evening
at dinner time. and would be able to engage
in kids’ problems such as school bullying, not to mention to check their homework
and nurturing them. Moreover, mothers who can deal
with both, work and childcare, can keep paying their pension premiums. And the more productivity of companies
means more people to be hired. In short, not having long working hours
helps us solve our social problems without putting a financial burden
on the government in taking care of children,
elderly parents and our health on our own initiative. This is the problem not only for Japan. Take a quick look at this graph. This shows the shift of the rate
of aging population. 23% of Japan’s population are the elderly, the highest percentage in the world. But Korea by the year 2030, China by 2040, will follow us. Korea, China, Singapore and Thailand
are in the “bonus period” of population; they have more young people
than older people. Which means they are more likely
to economically advance because they’re less burdened
by social welfare spending. But they can’t avoid low birth rate
which will come after this period, and the labor cost will hit the roof
and reach the maturation period. Then just like what’s happening
in Japan right now, just putting more time
into work won’t help them in the maturation period in order to survive
in this highly competitive world. So they will have to transform
their business style into one in which they can be
more productive in a short period. I believe Japan plays an important role
in showing other Asian countries a good example of how to go
through this transition, for them to overcome the same problems
they will encounter in the future. That is why I ask you all of you to help. Help the people around you
open their eyes to this idea, however slow the process may be. For instance, please tell the fathers
who have small children, and work overtime, leaving all
the family matters to their wives: Your life will be valued
by your family, not the company. Your company won’t thank you,
a year after you retire, for working hard until the previous year, or praise you saying how great
you had been until the year before last. Instead you will be told by your family
that you have neglected them for the past 30 years. You will be accused of not having done
any household chores for the rest of your life. Do you think it will make you happy? You, the people in managing positions, may boast you haven’t put
any financial pressure on the company because you didn’t get overtime pay
however late you worked. Do you think your subordinates
would be willing to succeed you, as they know you don’t get paid
for overtime, plus there is high responsibility
and a bigger workload, and it is a job that wrecks families? Your subordinates’ motivation
will keep falling, unless you change yourself. And I often hear you, the employers,
say that you are too worried to let your employees go home early
when business is this slow. Brain neuroscientists confirm this: Our brain can concentrate
only for 13 hours after we wake up. After that, our concentration
is as bad as drunk driving. You are paying extra for the time when people tend to make more mistakes
and have less good ideas. Don’t you think it’s too silly?
I want everyone to tell them this. I may not have to tell you this by now, but to conclude this talk,
I would like to ask you to do this and encourage others to do it: Quit working long hours and placing a financial burden
on the government in order to solve
our piled-up problems in Japan. This will let us have more private time and a lot of new ideas
to input into our work, which will improve the quality of our work
and make us more productive. I dream of a society
with work-life synergy, a world where everybody
has a rich work and private life. I hope all of you will join me and work together
with me toward that dream. Thank you very much for your time. (Applause)

100 thoughts on “Life balance: Yoshie Komuro at TEDxTokyo

  1. もっと評価されるべきだと思う。このスタイルを導入してみるチャレンジ精神が会社には必要。

  2. 育児の苦労も、ご自分の会社が短時間労働でうまくいっているのも分かりますが、残念ながら納得できる理屈がないこの話に乗る経営者は皆無でしょう。

  3. 彼女が指摘する問題は誰もが気がつくレベルではあるけどよくまとまってる。


    こっちの  戦後社会体制からの脱却  も安倍総理頼むよ。

  4. 実にあたりまえの話だった。



  5. 素晴らしいと思う。


  6. 私はプログラマーで、個人で請け負う形で長い間働いていた


  7. ワーク ライク シナジー。

  8. なぜ日本は生みたがらない→産んだ後の話….え?

  9. ここにコメントしている人の何人の方が言っているように、「労働時間を短くする具体案」が述べられていなく、「考え方」のまま話が終わったような気がします。大衆に向けて発信したから普遍性のあるような抽象論を話したのか、具体案はコンサル業に関わってくるから言えない、とかいう理由でしょうか。しかし1つぐらい出してもらった方がイメージしやすいと思いました。



  10. 株式会社ワークライフバランス 小室淑恵さんのTED講演 お腹に赤ちゃんがいる時に、ここまで素晴らしい講演ができるなんて! 日本社会を変えられる講演だと思います。 働くパパには耳が痛いことがたくさんですが、 是非聞いて、考えて見て欲しい。 ちなみに、小室さんがコンサルタントにはいる時、「どこの会社も」「うちの仕事は「特殊」だから残業減らすのは無理なんだ」と言うらしい。 どこの会社も。特殊って(笑)。 だからきっと、どこの会社も、誰でも、残業や長時間労働を減らすコトは可能だと思います。 かく言う私も、残業しないプログラマなんて、育休復帰する直前まで、ありえない、と思ってました。 そんなに能力あるわけじゃなかったから、残業出来るコトがウリ、、みたいなかんじもあって。 でも、やってみたらなんとかなるもんです♪

  11. 言ってることは素晴らしいが 実際にやったときのリスク、失敗例も必要である
    プレゼンという形だが仕方はないが このようないいことずくめの経営はいつか崩れる

  12. すばらしいです。。自分の経験からも長時間労働は自己満足にしか過ぎないと思います。少なくとも試してみる価値があります

  13. 少子化は仕組まれた、「人口削減プログラム」によるもので、夫の働き過ぎによるものでもなんでもない! 食品に含まれる添加物や薬品の蔓延。それに因る、若者の精子の著しい減少。精力の減退。フェミニズムの推進の隠された意図etc. 働き過ぎで、子供が減少するなどというのは、非常に曲解な解釈である。家庭が疎かになる、よって少子化が起こる、虚言も甚だしい。経営コストと残業、仕事能率はその通りだと思うが、総てに於いて、働き過ぎが社会悪みたいに語るのは、どうかしている。

  14. あのさ。残業禁止とかいうのがナンセンスなんだよね。



  15. あと「深夜まで働いて、女性に家事・育児を押し付ける」って

  16. 仕事と育児を両立して国の財政を助けて、もっと沢山の人が税金と年金を払うシステムに協力しましょうと言うスピーチですね!

  17.  小室さんに聞いてみたい事ですが、ホワイト・カラーエグゼンプションをやろうとしただけで「残業0法案」と誹謗中傷する朝日新聞を代表とする勢力についてどう感じるんでしょうか?

  18. 言ってることは正しいと思うが、残業をやめるだけで、多くの問題が一気に解決するってのは明らかに間違いだな。

  19. どのようにして夫が家事参加出来るようになったか述べられてなくないですか?

  20. おはようございます。最近出愛ました。WLB(ワークライフバランス)シアさせていただきます。

  21. 言ってることはよく分かるんだけど、実際に実践して、世の奥様方が社会進出しやすい世の中になったとして、子どもどこに預けるの?この待機児童が大問題になっている日本でさ。まずそこなんじゃないの?そこにちゃんと国がお金使って認可保育園を増やしてくれないといくら働きたくても働けんでしょ?さらに、残業代が減ると長期的には会社が儲かる結果になったとしても、個人としての収入は一時的でも(もしかしたら長期になる可能性も)減るわけで、そうなると家計が苦しくなる。奥さん働こうにも働けない。なら旦那が仕事増やすしかない。ってならない?

  22. This is EXACTLY what Japan needs to hear. It always amazes me how Japanese people are able to express things from a very different but incredibly insightful perspective that I would never even think of, but are so obvious when you hear it. I was nodding along her entire talk. REALLY good stuff.

  23. 人生で何が大事なのか。ひとつひとつ考えていけば、自分が今何をすべきかが分かってきますね。

  24. the seek of balance in ones life will probably reduce satisfaction and utility in the course of any specific moment. However the aggregate result which comprises of a population (or a sample) of uniquely identifiable moments will be particularly sufficient in the process of reflection

  25. 現状、理想、科学的根拠をバランスよく示した素晴らしいプレゼンテーションだと思いました。

  26. 全くもって同意します。長時間労働が無くなれば、少子化対策・国のコスト削減だけでなく、ブラック企業などの問題も減りそうだし、他の様々な問題がじわりじわりと軽減・解決していきそうな気がします。それらが積み重なれば自然と日本は国際競争力が上がっていくと思います。




  27. 日本人は働きすぎですね。日本人の意識が変わり、仕事と育児・介護が両立できる社会になっていくことを願っております。

  28. こういう講演でいくら貰ってるんだろうね!アグネスも1回公演100万円と言ってたけどね!。







  29. what a lovely J-woman; what she is saying is so true… ; D In other words, be innovative as to how u spend ur life-time. And companies must respect that for without people, there are no companies to begin with.

  30. 正しいことをおっしゃいました。全部言われたことに賛成です。それにプラスしたいことがあります。ドイツを例えにして見ると、もっと分かりやすいではないでしょうか。ドイツでは時間に厳しくて、残業はありません。仕事が終わる時間になるとみんながすぐに帰ります。そしたことでドイツが世界で質の高い技術を持っていますよね。

  31. こんな時代から長時間労働は駄目と言ってるのに未だに長時間労働が問題になっている。

  32. 言いたいことは当然ですが、 定時で終われない、頑張っても仕事が片付かない会社なんて山程ある。
    大企業などは プレミアム フライデーの例もあるように 可能な会社もあるだろう。でも中小企業はできるのか?なるべくなら誰しも残業は無い方がいいし、早く家庭に帰り ゆっくりしたいと思う。
    でも 残業代が付かなきゃ 給料厳しい人もいる。宅配業者なんて 膨大な荷物件数にドライバー不足、早朝から深夜までかかり 定時なんて有り得ない。定時で帰ったら 会社は成り立たなくなります。
    正直 欧米のような働き方には憧れます。日本の働き方を変えていかなきゃ…とも思います。その反面、実際は分かりませんが お役所など 1日でできる仕事を 3日にわけてやる…とか ふざけたことも聞きます。

  33. 全くまって同意!






  34. いまの社会の根幹に位置する人間はからすればこの国の将来なんかどうだっていいんだよね下手に動いて責任をとろうとするより動かない方がいい、みたいな奴ばっかだから。今の日本のガンは団塊、これをどうにかしないといけない

  35. 嘗て団塊世代が死ぬ気で働いてきただから今、世界をリードする日本経済があるのに、のんきな事いっていると日本の企業が次々に買収されて数千人リストラのシャープみたいになりますよ

  36. 誰こいつ。経験値0のコメント欄でニートがそれっぽいこと垂れてるのが笑う。

  37. 日本の時間をかけて成果を出す働き方を変えるには総合職という働き方を変える必要があると思う

  38. 時間内にできない仕事は作らない。時間を有意義に使う。とても大切なことだと思います。ただ、労働者ではなく、経営者の考え方が変わらない限り、日本企業で働く人々の働き方を変えることは不可能でしょうね。

  39. 残業やめろ。定時で帰れ。有給全部取れ。そしたら日本も自分もみんな変わってハッピーということだわな。要するにサラリーマンの願いは休みが欲しいだろということ。

  40. 仰っている事に加えてマクロ的な国民所得が増えない限り、何も実現できないと思います。

  41. まあ、こんな話だよなあ。





     平成29年3月31日(金曜日)曇り/雨 21℃ 午後10:37 世田谷区より。

  42. 理想論だけど、素敵なプレゼン!。すぐにはムリでもコツコツと。あと長時間労働だけ、、というより景気対策の失敗が原因かなと。。。、、バブル崩壊→不景気仕事減→年収300万時代→夫婦共働き・女性の自立→少子化・離婚率アップ→少子化継続のまま20年以上→マンパワー不足→仕事量倍化・社会保障費増大

  43. 長時間労働と財政の関係性確かにその通りだと思います その広く高い知見に新ためてインプットのための時間の必要性を感じます

  44. 提案とその影響は良くわかる。ガイダンスならば良いんじゃないかな。

  45. 2012年6月29日にアップされたこの動画。



  46. 美人だなー、プレゼンも上手いし・・。ってw いや内容も全く同意ですし素晴らしいです、ハイ!

  47. 素晴らしいです!私、集中して時間を作り、少しでも成長して日本の創造力を上げます。なんやかんや日本が好きなので!

  48. 長時間労働によって労働者自身だけでなく、家族や社会全体にも悪影響があるということがわかりました。

  49. 言いたいことはわかるけども、それは飲食店などには通用しない気がします。どれだけ効率の良い仕事をしても、営業時間を減らすことはできない。というか、短くすることを求める客はいない。この方の意見は、社会全体を的確に見れておらず、自分の周囲の環境にのみ視点があるような気がしてなりません。

  50. The big question is, is it really a good and wise way to spend your short, only life sacrificing everything to some company that probably does something that the world would be perfectly ok without.

  51. I'm glad she talks about this subject. I think every Japanese know the problem but they just accept as part of the corporate culture. I think if they have the choice, they will all want the same lifestyle than scandinave country or Quebec where the work and family life balance are in the heart of the society. Japanese people are not different but they are stuck in a legacy corporate culture that have not evolve.

  52. Woman taking care of the family in addition of their day job is almost in every asian culture. I'm chinese but grown up in Canada. I <m an engineer and I decided to be with a westerner because I know if I was married with a chinese man, the expectation will be different. I have 8 asian friends (girls) who have their carrier and are all married with westerner. In Canada, most men has grown up in a more open mind culture as their mother was already working and they was educate by their mom that everyone have to contribute to the family life. I can say my husband really doing 50% of the work at home. In the other hand, most chinese men, even if they grow up here in Canada, are more often married with chinese girls. I guess they like the traditionnal old fashion home life.

  53. 付加価値つけれないのは、日本はサービス精神がすごいからだよ。

  54. わたし中国人だ。大学で日本語を専門として四年間勉強した。でも、卒業後、日本会社にはいってなかった。こわかった。長時間労働に怖かった。いま、アメリカに働いてる。あさ 8時に仕事に入って、午後、四時仕事おわる。

  55. Though I don't know the Japanese language I thought you articulated the problem quite well. I hope Japan is listening.

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