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  • Juju Kurihara

Zoom Manner in Japan. True or False?

Updated: May 10, 2023

How are you dealing with “stay at home”? Many of you are probably working from home. The problem of this is people tend to work more hours as they are at home anyways. However, whilst there are many jobs that cannot work remotely and those people are either forced to go to work or without jobs, to be able to maintain your job and income are good thing, I suppose.

In Japan, working from home or home office are called tere waaku (telework) and this word has become most known by many Japanese people. Even my mother knows what it is. Thanks to the technology, online meeting is now so easy and stable. After stay-at-home has become mandatory in many countries, 200 million people per day used Zoom software in March, while about 10 million users a day in December 2019.

Japanese people are those who are also getting benefit from. And I’ve found an interesting topic about Zoom manner. You may have heard how much protocol Japanese people have to follow at the work place. It seems like this doesn’t change much in online meetings. Just type in “zoom マナー (zoom manner)” in SNS, there are so many posts about it. What surprised me the most was, there are profession called “zoom manner teachers”.

Manners people are talking about on SNS are from the dress code (only the top) to where to place your boss’ screen in your screen which is obviously just for a laugh. The opinions are divided into two even among Japanese people. Some people think these are business etiquettes and everyone must follow and others say this is ridiculous and we shouldn’t pay attention.

Now let’s have a look.

1. How to enter and end the meeting

- Wait until the host ends the meeting.

- Younger employees should wait until the seniors and bosses leave and then end the meeting.

- Keep your head down until all your seniors leave.

2. During the meeting

- Keep it mute unless you speak.

- When you like to speak, use “virtual hand rise” button.

3. These are more likely for a laugh

- Set the camera higher so you don’t need to look down your boss.

- Place the person with the higher position on the left top of the screen (apparently left top is the seat of honour)

- Enter before the boss but without the camera. When the boss enters, greet first and ask the boss if you can turn on the camera.

4. Dress code (Deji-kaji/Digi-casi)

Tops is normal business dress code and the bottom is Deji-kaji (デジカジ), digital casual that Uniqlo recommends. Collared shirts would be appropriate and they don’t look like a room wear or a pyjama. Also light colour brightens up the face.

5. Dress code for women

70% of women think it’s appropriate to dress as if they are in the office (maybe just the top) and about 67% wear makeup. There are many YouTube videos that teach you how to do the perfect makeup for the video conference.

There is a company which has developed a virtual makeup tool using AR technique. This would be perfect for those who don’t like to put the makeup on just for the video conference.

Some zoom manners are credible as they probably apply the same habit to the remote work but some sound like just making fun.

How is your working from home style? I definitely don’t wear formal but I like to dress up enough to be able to go out.



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