Instead of Doling Out Pink Slips, Some Japanese Companies Put Employees in ‘Banishment Rooms’

We shouldn’t live in a bubble so what you’re about to read will bring a new perspective to a basic conference room. While some Japanese companies are reluctant to show employees the door, they embrace banishment rooms.

Looking to pink slip an employee? Fughettaboutit! As per the Asahi Shimbun, companies are transferring surplus employees and giving them mundane tasks to accomplish. The goal is for employees to reach a point of despair and simply quit on their own.

And we’re not talking about boutique companies. As mentioned in the piece, two subsidiaries of Panasonic Corp., Hitachi Ltd., Sony Corp., an NEC Corp. subsidiary and Seiko Instruments, Inc. have all employed banishment rooms.

Per the piece, the companies have denied they’re pressuring staff to resign. In fact, one company has a “career development team” that one employee mentioned is really a euphemism for a banishment room.

The 40-something told the publication, “Employees come under enormous pressure to quit. My section is simply another banishment room.”

Four years ago he was informed his transfer was temporary. In another instance, he was told to offer his assistance to a group that was already full. His performance evaluation decreased year by year and last year he received a bonus that was a fraction of what he earned five years ago.

His ultimate responsibility? Finding a new job. In March he had to stare at a monitor for irregularity in a TV program for a 10-hour duration.

His boss told him, “Under normal circumstances, you should have been fired. You ought to be grateful for being allowed to stay here and receive a salary.”

Publish date: June 10, 2013 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT