A recent global study regarding different countries’ attitude towards workplace absences showed that Japan is the least accepting when it comes to this subject.
The research from Concordia’s John Molson School of Business analyzed the responses of 1,535 people in Japan, Mexico, Pakistan, Ghana, India, the U.S., Canada, Trinidad and Nigeria.
Management professor Gary Johns was the senior author of “The legitimacy of absenteeism from work: a nine nation exploratory study.” He explains that, “in light of globalization and increased interest in cross-cultural understanding of employees’ attitudes, perceptions and behavior, we set out to investigate employees’ perceptions of the legitimacy of absenteeism from a cross-national perspective.”
According to the study, employees from Pakistan, India and Trinidad were the most tolerant regarding absenteeism, while those from the U.S., Ghana and Japan deemed it least acceptable. Respondents from Canada, Mexico and Nigeria sat somewhere in the middle, the media says.
At the extreme end of the spectrum, Japanese respondents were least accepting of absence in the abstract, but were also least likely to hold absentees accountable. They were also particularly forgiving of specific cases of absence, as recounted in the study’s scenarios.
“Organizations that attempt to develop corporate-wide attendance policies spanning national borders should take local norms and expectations concerning absenteeism into consideration. What is normal for offices in Pakistan will not be the same for those in the U.S. Therefore, companies need to be culturally sensitive in establishing rules surrounding time off,” lead author Helena Addae said.