Doing Business in Japan

Company worth working for: Best 50 in Japan 2020

The most popular Japanese job market platform, OpenWork, has tallied the “work environment evaluation” forms filled by current and former Japanese companies’ employees on their site. This lead to the announcement of the “Employees’ best workplace rankings 2020“. Here are the results.

  • In total 8,698 people took part in the survey.
  • All respondents were current employees or former employees who have retired within one year at the moment of filling the form.
  • Respondents had the possibility of answering the surveys questions for a year and a half: from July 2018 to the end of 2019.
  • Companies were evaluated from 0 (bad) to 5 (good) based on the algorithm.

In the ranking you can find Japanese companies as well as the American ones with offices located in Japan. We have summarized the monthly overtime, annual income and respondents’ reviews. Frankly said, it was quite shocking to see that employees in Japan have to do so many overtime while having so low consumption rate of paid holidays, even though it is typical in Japanese culture.

  1. (4.72)
    Location: Tokyo
    Company description: Cloud-based software company which provides customer-relationship management service
    No. of respondents: 214

    Overtime (monthly): 36.3h
    Paid holidays consumption rate: 54.4%
    Ave. annual income of respondents: 12,550,000 JPY

    Review: “Open communication is on a good level, as transparency within the company is high and management meetings are streamed to the entire company. There is no toxic environment with a strong image of a foreign-affiliated company, and the V2MOM target setting is also excellent.”
  2. Google: 4.64
    Location: Tokyo
    Company description: Provides a search engine and other Internet-related services and products
    No. of respondents: 101

    Overtime (monthly): 20.9h
    Paid holidays consumption rate: 80.3%
    Ave. annual income of respondents: 14,760,000 JPY
    Review: “As long as you contribute to the team’s goals, you can basically work wherever and however you like (of course, as long as it doesn’t bother other members of the team). As Google gathers the best people from all over the world, I was able to gain a glimpse of the world’s cutting-edge business solutions while working. There are many overseas business trips too.”
  3. Procter & Gamble Japan (P&G): 4.61
    Location: Hyogo
    Company description: Daily necessities manufacturer
    No. of respondents: 290

    Overtime (monthly): 43.1h
    Paid holidays consumption rate: 64.9%
    Ave. annual income of respondents: 8,350,000 JPY
    Review: “Since it works with multinational companies, the working style and the way of thinking in P&G is pretty foreign. In other words, it is not a traditional Japanese company. Even new young employees here can be given tasks with high responsibility. I felt that my growth was very fast – especially because I could frequently get feedback from my boss.”
  4. Boston Consulting Group: 4.61
    Location: Tokyo
    Company description: Consulting
    No. of respondents: 149

    Overtime (monthly): 76.6h
    Paid holidays consumption rate: 56.3%
    Review: “A company that realizes that client comes first. People who can’t fulfill their task will leave immediately, since they’re not capable of their job. It is an extremely strict policy compared to most of the Japanese companies. There are many opportunities to interact with the managers of large companies even for young employees, and the work in charge is generally quite difficult, like, for example, solving management problems, so the growth speed is fast.”
  5. Mitsui Fudosan: 4.59
    Location: Tokyo
    Company description: Real estate
    No. of respondents: 81

    Overtime (monthly): 28.3h
    Paid holidays consumption rate: 63.4%
    Review: You can be assigned to a big project even if you are young. Speaking about work conditions, maternity leaves and a flextime system are also provided, so the company makes it easy for women and men to take care of their children.”
  6. Prudential Financial: 4.56
    Location: Tokyo
    Company description: Life insurance
    No. of respondents: 412

    Overtime (monthly): 38.5h
    Paid holidays consumption rate: 54.5%
    Ave. annual income of respondents: 12,110,000 JPY

    Review: “Speaking about organizational structure, the branch offices are always run by their own directors. Concerning corporate culture, it does seem a bit religious, but it is impossible for other companies to have such a strong and unified awareness of all employees as corporate governance.”
  7. Cisco Systems: 4.53
    Location: Tokyo
    Company description: Provider of networking hardware and software
    No. of respondents: 278
    Overtime (monthly): 30.4h
    Paid holidays consumption rate: 57.8%
    Ave. annual income of respondents: 13,610,000 JPY

    Review: “A work style reform is being implemented here, so employees mostly work from home – the best environment where you can manage yourself. They also have silo management style in the organizational structure, so you need to take initiative to communicate.”
  8. KEARNEY: 4.46
    Location: Tokyo
    Company description: Consulting
    No. of respondents: 82
    Overtime (monthly): 77.9h
    Paid holidays consumption rate: 80.7%

    Review: “If you can manage your tasks effectively in a short amount of time, you can go home earlier and balance your private life and work. It is also possible to work from home or anywhere else, of course assuming that you fulfill your tasks as effectively as while working in the office. It is quite possible to take paid holidays between projects.”
  9. Chugai Pharmaceutical: 4.43
    Location: Tokyo
    Company description: Research, development, manufacture, sales and import/export of pharmaceuticals
    No. of respondents: 148
    Overtime (monthly): 25.3h
    Paid holidays consumption rate: 55.3%
    Ave. annual income of respondents: 8,670,000 JPY
    Review: “After forming an alliance with Roche (actually after conversion to a subsidiary), there is a tendency for semi-domestic and semi-foreign capital, which includes corporate wage system. Technology exchanges are often conducted with the Roche Group, and they are working as faithful partners rather than Chugai being at their beck and call.”
  10. K.K. Ashisuto: 4.40
    Location: Tokyo
    Company description: Production of computer package software, technical support, education and consulting
    No. of respondents: 118
    Overtime (monthly): 24.7h
    Paid holidays consumption rate: 73.7%
    Ave. annual income of respondents: 6,960,000 JPY
    Review: “At present moment, IT is not an industry that has momentum, but the momentum is gained on a company basis. The company’s business domain is mature and it has modest growth. For better or worse, the company is stable with very little change present, but young people may find it unsatisfactory. However, there are many people who find it relatively good, even though it may be not excellent.”
  11. Daiichi Sankyo: 4.39
    Location: Tokyo
    Company description: Pharmaceutical research, development and manufacturing
    No. of respondents: 149
    Overtime (monthly): 32.7h
    Paid holidays consumption rate: 53.6%
    Ave. annual income of respondents: 9,630,000 JPY
    Review: “A top-down organization. Although they are not too bureaucratic and you can have a free discussion due to the open communication, there is no possibility of the contact between employees and upper management. Manufacturers are highly valued by customers for promotions based on customer-centric thinking, but from a commercial standpoint, they are weak in making clear statements.”
  12. Suntory Holdings: 4.38
    Location: Osaka
    Company description: Food and beverage manufacturer
    No. of respondents: 112
    Overtime (monthly): 25.9h
    Paid holidays consumption rate: 76.4%
    Review: “Following the transition to a holding company structure in 2009 and M&A, the complexity of internal approvals and decision-making process has increased. The work style should be simple and easy to understand, even if it is not on a high level, as it has to be understood by people in various departments. It is very easy to take a paid vacation, the company requires employees to take at least 16 days off each year.”
  13. ITOCHU Corporation: 4.37
    Location: Tokyo
    Company description: Conduction of domestic, import/export and trilateral transactions (Sogo-Shosha)
    No. of respondents: 286
    Overtime (monthly): 43.3h
    Paid holidays consumption rate: 56.9%
    Ave. annual income of respondents: 11,690,000 JPY
    Review: “Many employees are proud of this company and the morale here is high. There is a certain number of employees who are willing to pursue new things, and challenges are accepted. There is still a strong demand for a culture fit and it is necessary to be dyed in the company’s color. Rather than leveraging our strengths, we need to improve our weaknesses, which seems to be the opposite of diversity management.”
  14. MITSUI & CO.: 4.37
    Location: Tokyo
    Company description: Trade in a wide range of products and materials (Sogo-Shosha)
    No. of respondents: 353
    Overtime (monthly): 31.1h
    Paid holidays consumption rate: 60.2%
    Ave. annual income of respondents: 12,750,000 JPY
    Review: “For better or worse, people here pay too much attention to the others’ tasks. Sometimes employees worry about the behavior of their competitors too much, the other time they are late when they have to apple-polish the managers. The current president’s policy is “to make money by all costs”, and corporate life is rather neglected. There is also a tendency to value short-term profits and personal credit.”
  15. Mitsubishi Corporation: 4.33
    Location: Tokyo
    Company description: Trading company (Sogo-Shosha) with several business segments: finance, banking, energy, machinery, chemicals and food
    No. of respondents: 348
    Overtime (monthly): 38.0h
    Paid holidays consumption rate: 59.3%
    Ave. annual income of respondents: 12,670,000 JPY
    Review: “The top management has begun to significantly change the organization and business structure, but its introduction and functioning has not been progressing easily at the site. The job of growing the business is fun, and the salaries and benefits are great. However, there is a difference in the quality of performance as the age increases. There are for example some seniors with high salaries, who have not very good job performance, which has led to reduced motivation among young employees.”

  16. Keyence: 4.31
    Location: Osaka
    Company description: Research, development and manufacture of automatic control equipment, measurement equipment, etc.
    No. of respondents: 315
    Overtime (monthly): 63.1h
    Paid holidays consumption rate: 33.0%
    Ave. annual income of respondents: 12,260,000 JPY
    Review: “We work hard on weekdays and basically have weekends off. Recently, everyone has been leaving the office around 9 pm. As the company is making efforts to reform the work style, overtime may decrease in the future. As far as the sales organization is concerned, the situation is controlled and rational, and has led to an overwhelming product development ability that firmly captures customer needs.”
  17. ABeam Consulting: 4.28
    Location: Tokyo
    Company description: Management consulting
    No. of respondents: 1428
    Overtime (monthly): 42.2h
    Paid holidays consumption rate: 61.4%
    Ave. annual income of respondents: 8,150,000 JPY
    Review: “In the past overtime was normal, and people who worked late were considered to be great employees, but now the company has been reforming the work style, so late-night overtime has been mostly eliminated.”
  18. Recruit Holdings: 4.27
    Location: Tokyo
    Company description: Recruitment (HR tech, media solution, staffing)
    No. of respondents: 548
    Overtime (monthly): 37.4h
    Paid holidays consumption rate: 57.0%
    Ave. annual income of respondents: 8,700,000 JPY
    Review: “It is natural here to change the task in 30 seconds. Annual income seems to be high at first glance, but disposable income is not so high, because there are no benefits or overtime. My job is challenging and I have the opportunity to grow.”
  19. Quick: 4.26
    Location: Osaka
    Company description: Recruiting (HR tech, media solution, staffing)
    No. of respondents: 155
    Overtime (monthly): 42.6h
    Paid holidays consumption rate: 41.7%
    Ave. annual income of respondents: 5,070,000 JPY
    Review: “There is a lot of overtime. During busy season many people work until 9 pm. Since many job seekers are also working during the day, it is necessary to respond after 6 pm. However, you will always be motivated, because people will thank you every day.”
  20. Apple Japan: 4.26
    Location: Tokyo
    Company description: Production of consumer electronics, computer software and online services
    No. of respondents: 293
    Overtime (monthly): 8.8h
    Paid holidays consumption rate: 86.7%
    Ave. annual income of respondents: 5,840,000 JPY
    Review: “The organizational structure is flexible, however good or bad this is. It’s also hard to keep track of all the changes and revisions that happen quite frequently and mostly unannounced. Even though it is a department, there can be only one person in charge, and if they disappear without notice, there is no replacement.”
  21. Takenaka Corporation: 4.26
    Location: Osaka
    Company description: Architecture, engineering, construction  
    No. of respondents: 112
    Overtime (monthly): 64.5h
    Paid holidays consumption rate: 29.4%
    Ave. annual income of respondents: 8,140,000 JPY
    Review: “It is very difficult to balance personal life and work, and even though the company is promoting it, it is far from realization. In my opinion, the construction industry will never be able to achieve a work-life balance – not now, not in the future.”
  22. DENTSU INC.: 4.23
    Location: Tokyo
    Company description: Advertising agency
    No. of respondents: 592
    Overtime (monthly): 48.1h
    Paid holidays consumption rate: 51.2%
    Ave. annual income of respondents: 11,680,000 JPY
    Review: “People outside the company tend to think the work culture here is very strict, but the truth is, even young people can speak out. Many of them have high communication skills, and managers mostly are very tolerant. Whether the proposal will pass depends only on its quality.”
  23. Japan Patent Office: 4.18
    Location: Tokyo
    Company description: Patent office
    No. of respondents: 74
    Overtime (monthly): 19.4h
    Paid holidays consumption rate: 67.0%
    Review: “The work of the examiner is basically done by one person, so the workplace is mostly quiet, with only a few conversations. As it is a personal job, you can take a sudden vacation if you keep a certain amount of tasks and deadlines. However, there is little change in the content of work, it is very monotonous, so the applicant should decide on his own whether or not it’s worth it.”
  24. Uzabase: 4.18
    Location: Tokyo
    Company description: Online financial data service provider
    No. of respondents: 74
    Overtime (monthly): 19.4h
    Paid holidays consumption rate: 67.0%
    Review: “Firstly, all the information is in open access. Interactions within the company and departments are possible via Slack. In addition, the working style is quite free. Many employees take care of their families, and some members even bring their children to work.”
  25. Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance: 4.18
    Location: Tokyo
    Company description: Life/casualty insurance
    No. of respondents: 734
    Overtime (monthly): 26.7h
    Paid holidays consumption rate: 43.3%
    Review: “This is a leading company that promotes lack of bureaucracy, simplifies office rules, develops new products, and leads the insurance industry. Other companies are desperate to overtake this one, but they say that it is kind of an impossible mission. I have worked for Rival Insurance Company in the past, but the rules and accounting system are overwhelmingly advanced here.”
  26. IKK: 4.17
  27. Accenture: 4.17
  28. JSOL: 4.17
  29. Deloitte Tohmatsu Consulting: 4.16
  30. ASAHI Breweries: 4.15
  31. NRI: 4.15
  32. Boston Scientific Japan: 4.15
  33. M3 Career: 4.13
  34. Sony: 4.13
  35. Future Archtect: 4.12
  36. TOYOTA: 4.11
  37. LIFULL: 4.10
  38. Hoken-all: 4.09
  39. Career Design Center: 4.08
  40. DELL Technologies: 4.07
  41. en Japan: 4.06
  42. KANEMATS: 4.06
  43. Sansan: 4.05
  44. Hakuhodo: 4.05
  45. 3M Japan: 4.04
  46. JGC: 4.03
  47. American Express: 4.03
  48. BIZREACH: 4.02
  49. Starbucks Coffee Japan: 4.02
  50. Ajinomoto: 4.02
Yuki Nagahori
BA in German / Japan Country Manager at editorial company → Sales → currently sales planner based in Hamburg, Germany