Work Life Balance in the US – ZooとThoughts
ZooとThoughts is created to motivate your learning of English. A language is not only vocabulary and grammar, it is also grown from culture. By learning about culture, the language becomes even less foreign because you are able to understand the nuances within the vocabulary and grammar. If you are in a conversation with someone and you are discussing a topic it is important to understand the words they are saying, the context in which they are saying them, and the culture that helped shape that opinion. That’s what this page is meant to do – help you understand on a deeper level.
Obviously, I’m still a college student, so I don’t have a lot of experience working in the “real world”, but I always do my best to listen to people around me, so I hope this weeks post will help you.
I think it’s very easy to automatically say that a work life balance is better in the US than in Japan, but I wouldn’t be so fast to jump to that opinion. There’s a website you can use to compare your life by statistical rates in other countries. I found out a really surprising statistic: If I lived in Japan, I would have 3.05% more free time. Can you believe that? The statistic is always surprising to me when I look at it.
So what causes that statistic? I have a couple of ideas. One is that Americans are working longer hours – overtime. They can get paid for this overtime it depends on whether they are paid salary or an hourly wage. If they work salary, then they usually do not get paid for overtime, if it’s hourly, then workers get paid like time and a half for working overtime. I was at a restaurant the other week and we started talking with this guy who was seated behind us (his kid kept making funny faces at us so we talked a little bit) and he used to work in Europe. He felt that working in the US was so different from Europe and that he had less time to spend with his family. Another reason I think Americans don’t have as much free time is because, there is still a good percentage of Americans who work two jobs, and it’s not uncommon here to do that. I remember a time in my own life when my mom was working three jobs and going to school to get her degree. Usually the part time jobs are night jobs or on the weekend.
On the other hand, using the same site as before, if I lived in Japan I would make 29.73% less money than living in the US. But it kind of evens out because, if I lived in Japan I would spend 46.58% less money on health care.
All this being said, of course I’m American and I’m used to the culture here, even so, I want to make myself aware of what life really is like in other countries. When comparing Japan and the US, I know that statistics aren’t everything, and that there are other cultural factors that are a part of where you live. For example, if you come to the US, you’ll find that most people are friendly, especially in the south where I live! Everybody calls you honey or sweety and most people were raised to say ma’am or mr. when talking to adults. If you ever choose to visit or live in the US there are so many things you can do, even with our limited free time (lol). We love to go on road trips, and enjoy a lot of the nature around us.
I hope you enjoyed this post, and if you have any questions about living and working in the US, please leave it in the comments below! To view the site that I referenced throughout the post, click here
I want to know, what your thoughts on this culture point? Leave a comment below. Is it important to you? Do you have a deeper understanding now? Is it important in your culture or family culture? Please let me know what you think, what you would like to learn next! Feel free to make suggestions. Please share this page with your friends so we can grow our community!