After-work drinking, commonly called Nomikai, is a phenomenon particular to Japanese culture. While many Japanese workers feel that after-work parties are an important way to enhance relationships, this tradition is now facing its cuts back.
A survey jointly commissioned by Nexer Inc.’s research arm and Diamond Online found that a majority of people in Japan are turning down calls from their superiors or clients for drinking together. About 70% of respondents said they turn down such calls from their superiors, while 60.2% answered they refuse invitations from clients.
The spread of remote work amid the coronavirus pandemic has made it easier to decline such invitations, Japan Times reports.
Further, the survey showed that 14.3% of respondents answered they reject superiors’ calls for drinking together in a determined manner and that 56.0% said they say no in an apologetic tone. Meanwhile, 12.5% said they agree with an air of reluctance. This finding suggested that 78.0% of workers believe it is up to each individual to decide whether to accept calls from superiors for drinking together, while 22.0% said it is necessary to say yes all the time or to a certain degree.
Asked about feelings toward superiors and clients who frequently ask for drinking together, 37.5% said they are uncomfortable with losing their private time, accounting for the largest portion of all respondents. This was followed by 24.0% of respondents who said they are not uncomfortable with attending drinking parties as part of their jobs.
“Young employees generally don’t like drinking together with superiors or colleagues. The pandemic apparently gave them good reasons to decline such invitations,” Nexer Inc.’s research arm said.