Gig Work in Japan

A country who traditionally practices and values lifetime employment is gradually adapting to the concept of freelance work– Japan. Shūshin koyō is the term used in Japan to define permanent employment and that concept has been embedded deeply in their culture, such that employers would ask their applicants about their perception on employment loyalty and conformity thus, it is both the employer and employees responsibility to each other to stay committed. 

According to Lancers, Japan’s leading online talent marketplaces, we saw a 23% growth in the freelancing community in Japan from 2015 to 2018. And in 2018, second jobs, once rare in Japan, are reshaping attitudes about work with a recorded number of 7 million Giggers. What’s motivating them to move towards a contractual work agreement? 

Let’s check out a few reasons why… 

  • Increased popularity in online freelance communities – one attraction of freelancing in Japan is its maximized online presence. In Upwork, Fiverr, and Toptal, Japanese locals have an active presence. Anyway, who wouldn’t be influenced when the majority of the world’s population is inclined towards it?
  • Moonlighters – the trend of freelance shifts in Japan began with moonlighters who needed a second job to earn money. For that reason, career alternatives began to grow in Japan as government and business embraced the benefits of a flexible blended workforce. Let’s admit that it is expensive to live in Japan
  • Labour crunch – with demographic problems, employers are left with no choice but to accept temporary non-Japanese workers to aid an aging population coupled with low birth rates in the country. Even in such a situation, Japanese companies are still skeptical of this immigration scheme as Japanese prize ethnic homogeneity. 
  • Fundamental shift in global workforce – as innovation continues to rise in our global society. Japanese labour practices are slowly responding to global competition. It is not new that freelancing became a trend not just in the West but on the other continents in the world too. Moreover, the younger generation who prefer flexibility and mobility are starting to force the system to change.

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