After a day of grueling negotiations, Japanese workers are
ready to cut loose -- way loose. Barhopping after work is
a common, if not expected, tradition. If the workplace is
stiff and ceremonial, the bar is where Japanese businessmen
release the inner beast. A perennial favorite is the karaoke
bar, where everyone is expected to sing along, even if they
can't carry a tune. Besides being a place to balance work
with fun, nightspots are where coworkers bond and share
information, reinforcing affiliation with a team.
What it teaches us:
It's important to not let work dominate one's life. Leisure
is just as important a part of one's day. It releases
and soothes anxieties. When done with coworkers,
it's a nonverbal commitment to remain part of the group.
How we can adapt it:
It's okay to forget about work once in a while, even among
coworkers. Enjoy happy hour and attend office parties. Being
social and informal with colleagues outside the workplace
allows you to be human and to lower your guard for a bit.