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Japan's Employees Working Together, Living Together

Japan's Unmarried Employees Living Together in Dorms

Mitsui & Co., one of Japan's largest companies, is revising the common conception of a work-life balance by reintroducing its old tradition of supplying dorms for unmarried employees. In Tokyo, the company's six dorms for men and two for women cost about $185 a month and provide private bedrooms but a shared cafeteria and bathhouse.

According to The Wall Street Journal, employee dorms were originally introduced in the 1950s and 60s to help establish a company culture of family. One 24-year old Mitsui employee said, "The dorm is a very successful system where you can build relationships with colleagues who we don't have access to otherwise."

The dorms are meant to reinforce a focus on the team over the individual by allowing workers to make friends and learn about each other outside the office. Would you be receptive to living in a dorm with co-workers during the first several years of your working life? Do you think this idea would ever fly in the US?


Join The Conversation
ninjastarlett ninjastarlett 8 years
This is a very interesting concept. I'd love to hear some of the feedback from people who are part of it.
inertia inertia 8 years
$185/month is unbelievably cheap for Tokyo! Never mind team spirit, this would be a great opportunity for young employees to start saving money or paying off debts. However, for the sake of those employees I hope Mitsui continues to be successful. It's common for foreign employees at English schools to live in company housing. Recently one of the largest schools went under and the unfortunate employees found themselves hit hard first by not getting paid for several months, then getting laid off, and finally being thrown out of their company apartments.
graduatedsqueaks graduatedsqueaks 8 years
well, it would be like a continuation of college...and as long as there was a good amount of privacy (i.e. separate bathrooms, roommates from other departments to reduce weirdness), it could be pretty good. And the price and commuting seem pretty good excuse not to carpool (or travel on public transportation together).
looseseal looseseal 8 years
I guess in Japan the old days of your job expecting loyalty from you AND also giving it in return is not gone yet like in most of the rest of the world. In places where people get laid off all the time, this wouldn't work.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i think that it's definitely something to consider - assuming that the environment was comfortable and all that. where i live in NYC - i think that it could have been helpful to me to have corporate housing when i first started cause i didn't make enough to really have a place to live that was decent. that's a really interesting concept - and if you think about how entry level ppl are usually right out of college anyway - it's not so far fetched.
zabrow zabrow 8 years
i know in new york city, there are certain hospitals that have employee housing nearby & apparently they're so popular that there are years long waiting lists to get into them... i don't think they're dorms like this situation, but you'd still be living in the same apartment building with a bunch of other people from work. in relation to this post, if i could find anywhere to live for $185/month, i'd think seriously about doing it! haha
356UIK 356UIK 8 years
God I wish I could do this. I've been paying my own mortgage, on my own, without any roommates for the past 5 years and its made me poor poor poor. I need to get married.
CYL CYL 8 years
Only if they don't work in my department or have any thing to do with me on a daily basis. Like the IT guy or the people who work in sales...otherwise seeing them 24/7 would drive me nuts. And can you imagine the office drama if singles started hooking up and broke up..
YayaOzoHead YayaOzoHead 8 years
At $185 a month, I'd do it!
skigurl skigurl 8 years
i think that if you lived in a dorm with othr young people, you'd start dating, hooking up etc., especially since everyone else is single they would end up with all their young employees getting married to each other!!
cubadog cubadog 8 years
I already want to kill most of my co-workers during the day to have to live with them too would drive me nuts!
runnergeek runnergeek 8 years
its one thing to go out for drinks after work with your coworkers, and its quite another, to see them in their jammies, brushing their teeth. so, no, it wouldn't fly in america..i couldn't do it. i love my coworkers to pieces and don't mind going out with them, from time to time, after work, but i don't want to live with them.
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