You'll never see poker faces like the ones seen in a Japanese
office. Except for the occasional burst of laughter, workers
generally remain expressionless, particularly during meetings.
They speak in a low, measured tone, and will often close
their eyes when paying close attention to a speaker -- a
habit that foreignerĄ¯s mistake for a sign of boredom.
What it teaches us:
The Japanese have an almost religious respect for the workplace.
Humor is seldom used, except for light banter during breaks.
There is hardly any physical touching among coworkers, and
definitely no backslapping.
How we can adapt it:
For us, a stuffy and overly formal workplace seems oppressive.
You don't have to treat your office like sacred ground,
but there's also no reason to behave like its your buddy's
house. Professional appearance and conduct increases respect
for the work and, in turn, increases productivity.