This article is currently top-trending in the Japan Times. It’s well worth a read!
Personally, I support the trend. I think that the British macho attitude to work leaves a lot to desired. Young people compete to be the first in the office or the last out, with lunch being a hurried sandwich at the desk in front of the computer screen. Of course, I was like that once, in my twenties – I remember a colleague was very impressed that my car had a much thicker snow covering than everybody else in the car-park.
Throughout my career, I spent a great deal of time overseas, especially across Europe and Asia. I soon learned to admire the French habit of taking a proper break for lunch, noticing that French colleagues worked later into the evenings too.
The bottom-line is that work-time needs to be effective. If a Japanese-style nap or a French lunch break help, so be it.