Confectionery maker Morinaga Co launched "summer time" at its Tokyo headquarters on March 28, calling employees to work and sending them home an hour earlier.
The company launched the initiative as a result of TEPCO’s rolling blackouts in an attempt to save electricity, and will continue it until September whether the blackouts are implemented or not, say company officials.
Each day, some 500 Morinaga employees in the corporate and marketing divisions start work at 8 a.m. and leave at 4:30 p.m., an hour earlier from the regular 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. shift. Due to meetings with clients, however, personnel in the sales and manufacturing divisions have to work as before.
In the massive confusion caused by stopped public transportation and the inability to catch taxis after the earthquake, a number of Morinaga employees either walked for hours to get home or stayed somewhere else on March 11. Initially, the company encouraged employees to avoid rush hour and come to work at different times of the day. But when the rolling blackouts began, Morinaga decided to expand the encouragement into a new work policy.
Employees seem content with the new work shifts. “I am better organized and use my time more wisely now," said an employee. Another worker said that the new working hours give her more time for her hobbies and other leisure activities.
In addition, Morinaga also saves electricity by cutting power and using one instead of two elevators. Employees use the stairs to reach their offices, many of which are located on the 8th floor.© Compiled from news reports