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Is It Okay to Pray at Work? This is What Most Muslims in Japan Concern About
In a country where Muslims are a minority like Japan, whether or not Muslims can pray at work during working hour becomes a very important issue. Even though the praying time changes depends on the season, however in general, zuhr, asr, and maghrib pray overlap with working hours.
Will Japanese companies allow their Muslim workers to pray at work? Is pray during work not allowed?
Previously, we talked about 5 Things Muslims Need to Know When Working in Japan and mentioned briefly about pray at work. Today we are focusing on pray at work to give more detailed information to ease your worry.
Make Sure About How The Company’s Understanding is Towards Cultural Differences
Talking about Japanese companies, it can’t say unconditionally as it varies from large and small companies, Japanese and foreign companies, to its location whether in urban or rural areas. However, we need to check how tolerant the company is toward cultural differences (not only religion) which can be roughly divided into three categories as follows.
① Companies with a good understanding of cultural differences
Companies in this category are companies whose executives/managers are fully aware of the importance of understanding foreign and different cultures, particularly those who have already hired foreign employees, expanding the business globally, foreign-affiliated companies, or have foreign nationals in the upper management. We often hear that companies in this category is easy to work with.
② Companies that do not have much understanding of cultural differences, but would love to accept when explained
Typically, companies in this category have no experience in hiring foreign employees or only have a bit of knowledge or experience about overseas. However, the point is these companies only do not know yet about foreign cultures so that in some cases, they will easily understand if we explain our needs (pray, etc) to them.
③ Companies that do not have an understanding of cultural differences and do not willing to do
Unfortunately, some companies in Japan do not allow pray at work for various reasons depending on the company’s rules and the management’s perspective or opinion. However, other than prayer, troubles related to attitude and communication often happen in such companies.
In addition to the three categories above, working as a staff member of a temporary employment agency is also something that you need to be careful about. You will be assigned to another company, so even the employment agency you join has enough understanding about diversities, you will need an (additional!) understanding from the company you are placed in, about you, your culture, and your needs.
In fact, temporary employment agency rarely shares about Muslim needs to pray with client companies. So that, we highly recommend you to be sure to check and explain whether you can pray at both the employment agency you are joining and the client company to which you are assigned.
Identify Company With Understanding to Diversities
Actually, it’s quite difficult to completely identify especially because you can only see the company from outside, but you should always check before joining them.
We have some tips that might help you to identify companies that meet your needs.
Check if the company has ever hired foreign staffs
For companies that have hired foreign nationals or Muslims, the environment and system in the company that meets such people are already in place, so that problems that may occur after joining the company can be minimized. Such information may be displayed on the company’s website or social media.
Talk to your HR department or hiring manager before joining the company (preferably at an interview or briefing)
Talk and explain to the HR Department of recruiting company in advance. If you are rejected at that point, you can predict that there will be troubles in terms of different perceptions even after joining the company. So better to avoid joining such a company.
Use a trustable recruiting agency
Looking for a job by using a recruiting agency is one common way to help you to find a company that will suit you. However, we highly recommend using a recruiting agency service that has enough understanding about foreign nationals including Muslims. This is because, if the agent itself lacks consideration for diversity, you might be worried about companies they refer to you.
Recruiting Agency For Foreigners, Career Diversity Inc
Career Diversity Inc is a group company under the umbrella of Food Diversity Inc that runs HALAL MEDIA JAPAN. The company supports Muslims in particular and foreigners in general, to be able to work in Japan comfortably and peacefully at a company that aims to support a diverse range of human resources.
Career Diversity Inc has three main services (which are free of charge!) you should check!
1. Career consultation for those who are thinking of finding a job or changing jobs in Japan
Drop your inquiry to：firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Introducing companies with a nice environment for Muslims to work
Register yourself on the link below to get yourself introduced to Japanese companies!
3. Organize career events
Previous events Osaka Muslim Career Meet Up / REAL JOB TALK
Career Diversity Inc shares employment information and job vacancies in Japan on the company’s social media as follows so make sure to like the page and follow the account!
Career Diversity on Facebook
Career Diversity on Instagram
Career Diversity on Linkedin
The best thing is, they will answer you in a casual way so feel free to talk to them!