Regarding the July 3 Kyodo article “Toyota plants start weekend operations“: I really wish the media would stop referring to what the auto manufacturers are doing as “saving energy.” This is inaccurate, misleading, and gives them credit for something they are simply NOT doing.
By adjusting their workweek they are merely shifting their energy usage. It’s pretty simple arithmetic actually.
What’s particularly frustrating is that there are opportunities for true savings to take place, but in the interest of maintaining production levels, they are being squandered in favor of a system that burdens employees, their families and their communities.
One idea that I believe would have a much more positive effect is to follow what some other countries with a warm climate do and have a siesta break every day from noon to 4 p.m. when air-conditioning units work the hardest.
Employees could start work a little earlier, say, 8 a.m.; take a nice lunch break, run errands, rest, return to work by 4 p.m.; and finish at 8 p.m., which isn’t late by traditional Japanese standards.
I believe companies would not only save a lot of energy during the peak times of the day, but they would also benefit from increased productivity and employee morale.
There are many other energy-saving techniques that could be implemented, but the current schedule shift is not one of them. So please don’t call it as such.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.
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