And You Think You've Got It Bad

So the boss has asked you to stay behind for an extra half hour to help with an urgent project, but you have a really hot date. Or (s)he’s asked you to take a five percent pay cut for the next few months to see the company through the economic downturn. Maybe you’ve been told that the assistant you were promised to help through the mountain of paperwork won’t be forthcoming in the near future.

You think you’ve got it hard, spare a thought for the poor folk at Canon in Japan, whose boss seems to be stuck in a Dickensian time warp. A little nugget of a story out of Gizmodo US tells us that Canon Electronic’s, Hisashi Sakamaki, believes that chairs and lackadaisical walking are the causes of lower productivity.

To arrest this purported lack of work ethic Mr Sakamaki has found the solution – nobody is allowed chairs in their workplace, and if workers don’t walk at least five metres every 3.6 seconds, then an alarm flashes! Not only that, there is a flashing sign on the ground that says “Let’s rush: If we don’t, the company and world will perish!”

It’s interesting to see that with a high yen, and many Japanese companies posting record losses, that Mr Sakamaki has his priorities straight. And it certainly puts Canon products in a new light! Wonder if he’s going to pay for all the chiropractors that will be needed for fixing all those bad backs due to crappy ergonomics. Time will tell. I wonder whether Canon printers will push pages out even faster in the future with the extra speed generated at head office leaking out to their products!