Current State and Future Projections of the Work Environment for Young Professionals in Urban Areas of Mainland China, Taiwan, and Japan

© RUB, Marquard

China, Taiwan and Japan are notoriously known for their culture of long working hours which was widely accepted by millennials and earlier generations but not as enthusiastically welcomed by generation Z or younger millennials. Each of these three regions has specific job market conditions for young professionals and the protest actions and ways of refusal of dire working conditions also vary. This prospective study aims at understanding the nature of protests young people adopt in their bargaining power in shaping the overall working conditions for all young workforce. Due to geographical and cultural vicinity, mainland China, Taiwan, and Japan are expected to demonstrate a certain degree of convergence and divergence. The aim of this research is therefore to identify the shared tendencies toward more healthy work arrangements and to offer predictions on how might these shape the overall working conditions for the whole young workforce in this region.

The youth in mainland China, Taiwan, and Japan feel a certain degree of disillusionment and disenchantment with the rat race that should ensure them a bright future. Interestingly enough, the trend of ‘lying flat‘ seems to be a common denominator that occurs in various forms in all three societies. As the three societies find themselves in different stages of social and economical development, divergencies are also expected to emerge. Overtime culture and striving for material wealth do not seem to appeal to all young workforce anymore and our study could shed more light on what kind of countercultures are emerging among young people as a result, what is their take on work-life balance and what kind of work arrangements they might be willing to adopt. Understanding the attitudes of this young minority could help us to foresee how their take on work and life could possibly change the future of the working environment in all three East Asian societies.