COVID-19 INFORMATION What you need to know about the coronavirus if you are living in Japan or planning a visit.
business

Virus breaks the mold for telework in office-bound Japan

23 Comments
By Charly Triballeau

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2020 AFP

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.


23 Comments
Login to comment

The only persons in this entire country against teleworking are 50-60 year old Japanese males.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

It is ALL about show. In my Japanese company most of the younger guys stick around until 8 or 9pm surfing the net because they want the boss to see them there.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Online use and teleworking should be further encouraged with incentive programs to dissipate excessive crowds at work. Not only it is for the sake of curbing the current outbreak, the tech-aided working style can save many people from other crises (terrorism, earthquake, etc.). Tokyo is vulnerable. If something hits vital business districts downtown, the entire Japanese economy could become paralyzed. It's a national security issue.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

RecklessToday 04:11 pm JST

The only persons in this entire country against teleworking are 50-60 year old Japanese males.

Two weeks ago the TV was full of pundits in their 50s and 60s complaining about young people going to hanabi and stuff, but it's men in their 50s and 60s making millions of people ride the trains and sit in offices every day.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Take more than a virus to change Japan, 2 atomic bombs didn't do it. A plague certainly won't.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Sorry should have faxed that.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

The only persons in this entire country against teleworking are 50-60 year old Japanese males

Pretty soon this will change to 25-60 year old females when they find that, with the husband spending more time at home, the kids are actually getting closer to their fathers and are forming stronger bonds with their Dads. This will trigger jealously and insecurity in the females because, heaven forbid, that the males might just make better parents than the females.

The older females will also feel threatened with the man of the house actually spending more time in the house because they (the females) have been accustomed to thinking that the house is now their domain....even though it's the males who paid for their homes.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

Perhaps it's finally time for Japanese companies to change from a loyalty-based paradigm to a competency-based paradigm...

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Pretty soon this will change to 25-60 year old females when they find that, with the husband spending more time at home, the kids are actually getting closer to their fathers and are forming stronger bonds with their Dads. This will trigger jealously and insecurity in the females because, heaven forbid, that the males might just make better parents than the females.

The older females will also feel threatened with the man of the house actually spending more time in the house because they (the females) have been accustomed to thinking that the house is now their domain....even though it's the males who paid for their homes.

Never heard of any woman that thinks that way. If anything, they would want the husband to be more involved in raising their kids.

For most, it would only be a problem if the man creates more work for the woman (has to make him breakfast and lunch, etc.)

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Baby steps, baby steps. Glad to see some positives coming out of this crisis. And, I have noticed that many companies have implemented staggered start times, which means the trains are much less crowded. That, along with telecommuting (even a little bit) makes all the difference.

This will hopefully be the start of a permanent movement which will change the way we carry out work.

It needs to be about quality of life over sacrifice for one's company.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This might be the one good thing to come from the coronavirus. Embracing telework would make commutes faster and less crowded, cut down on traffic, reduce carbon emissions and help with the population issue by allowing women to work from home and take care of the kids. Japanese have excellent work ethic and don't need a boss looking over thier shoulder.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

When the virus is defeated the companies could make telework part of the routine for those who want it. One or two days aweek. Or in the mornings with the worker going in for the afternoon. Might be able to decrease the numbers on the commute trains.

Telework currently limited to home with the virus but once its gone no need to just be home based.

I have done working at home for translations for decades, also art layouts graphic design even way back befre the internet when we stuck pieces of paper together with cow gum. That brings back memories. Powerful glue. We were the first glue sniffers.

https://hullabaloo.co.uk/blog/whatever-happened-cow-gum/

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It is ALL about show. In my Japanese company most of the younger guys stick around until 8 or 9pm surfing the net because they want the boss to see them there.

And now without that show anymore, it becomes how well they can be productive instead

The bosses don't see them - the only thing the bosses see is how much did they get done

Those who work smart can get it done in just a few hours, then spend the rest of the day free

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Take it a step further after this is all over and telework is a way to help repopulate the Japanese countryside.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Very few companies in Tokyo are still going with this approach! Maybe 5-10 % are asking workers to work from home. Everybody that I know ( acquaintances, friends and clients ) are still going to their respective offices. Everyday I see so many articles about telework but it’s not the reality! The population of Tokyo is huge so the current number of people teleworking becomes somewhat irrelevant as it might comprise of less than 10% of the work force!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Does anyone know approximately what % of the working population are actually teleworking? This article mentions a poll a month ago that 70% out of 400 companies were considering it, while I saw another article last week that estimates about 15% of the commuters. They both sounds too small to make a dent or to break any mold.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

We’ve had our people working from home for 2 weeks already.

It’s killed our efficiency somewhat, but we have less work due to our clients cutting their short-term budgets, and not running the offices every day, or paying commuting fees, is saving us some money.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Teleworking suits some Industries, but not others.

It also requires a different style of working... and Trust.

Within the normal workplace, you will often see the type of Colleague who just simply wants to get by doing as little as possible... somehow some of these people seem to survive perhaps by positioning themselves as Management material because they Socialise with their "Current" Management... well, now, is their time of reckoning - as their actual worth will become obvious for all to see.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Once again caught flat-footed due to their own ability to change with the times, J. Inc. is already contributing to the spread of the pandemic by keeping employees commuting to the office.

Remember last July when the government "encouraged" companies to try telework to prepare for the Olympics and nearly no one tried it?

The only problem is, now that society needs salarymen to stay home, no one really knows how to do it effectively, and the stakes are now life and death.

The world is watching, and if Japan can't keep up with trends like telework and allowing employees to stay home during this pandemic, they're going to have a hard time recruiting international talent going forward.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The virus is serving as a powerful catalyst for changing the way much of the world will work in the future. This does not bode well for the commercial real estate market as companies realized they do not have to bear the substantial cost for maintaining physical office space at today's levels. The Japanese government will resist these changes, notwithstanding the fact that they make so much sense in terms of productivity, quality of life and cost reduction. Long term changes are coming.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"The only persons in this entire country against teleworking are 50-60 year old Japanese males."

This is correct. The hierarchically arranged open office at most Japanese companies is a truly miserable and uncomfortable environment for everybody except the people at the top (namely 50-60 year old Japanese males). I can't imagine that some office lady or younger male worker would be strongly opposed to teleworking.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hopefully, this will continue even after the virus has been controlled. It is a sensible way to work and to educate.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I work for a company that has long embraced working from home . They started years ago and measured productivity..it was improved when people worked from home. Initially it was one day a week..then two, and later I started working 4 days a week from home

Now it is fully working from home for vast majority of staff, and they likely will keep it that way until August or later.

I think it is great--and by the way, this is a company with over 200,000 employees world wide. If they can do it (and they are a conservative company in a relatively conservative business) , anyone can..

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites