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Efficiency and satisfaction with remote work has deteriorated, and 'telework fatigue' is emerging.

23 Comments

A spokesperson for the Japan Productivity Center, commenting on a survey that showed the proportion of people who worked fully remotely in a recent week in Japan fell from that in April.

© Jiji Press

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Unfortunately I didn't get the benefit of Remote Work.

But the good thing to go to the office every day is, that I can meet all my cute female coworkers.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

a survey that showed the proportion of people who worked fully remotely in a recent week in Japan fell from that in April.

Be cautious with any "telework survey".

Here's a pretty shocking report from a couple months ago during the previous SOE which didn't make it onto Japan Today.

The whole thing was swept under the rug:

"...it has emerged that the number of people coming to work in Tokyo's Kasumigaseki bureaucratic district fell only on the day when foot traffic was surveyed...

*A May 19 government fact-finding survey on remote work practices among bureaucrats went ahead after ministry and agency employees were notified in advance of the date...*

The bureau made May 19 its survey "base date," and informed ministries and agencies of it beforehand."

Whole article here:

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20210604/p2a/00m/0na/015000c

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Man, I love teleworking.

I can take a break at any time as long as I'm on top of my workload, I can stream high-definition music through my computer, and I can basically have complete control over my environment.

What's not to love?

Then again I don't come from a culture where most men probably consider "The Company" as their official address and "My house" as some place where they occasionally find themselves.

19 ( +19 / -0 )

Man, I love teleworking.

I can take a break at any time as long as I'm on top of my workload, I can stream high-definition music through my computer, and I can basically have complete control over my environment.

What's not to love?

Then again I don't come from a culture where most men probably consider "The Company" as their official address and "My house" as some place where they occasionally find themselves

I agree with you 110% on every single point. Teleworking is the best.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

Teaching online is terrible and the university doesn't give part-time staff access to digital library resources off campus for some insane reason so I have to go in anyway.

I can't wait for the hysteria to subside

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

I found that Zooming everyday gave me an excuse to sleep in longer, drink heavier, and I gained a good 20lbs over the last year. I've started intermittent fasting though and I've lost a good 10lbs over the last few weeks.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

I work from home, not telework my workshop and business is in my home.

But my wife's company moved 80% of the employees to telework ( it was planned for 2022 but covid accelerated their plans).

At first it was fine but then both my adult children both recent university graduates also had to telework (at first full time now about 50/50 because some of their work cannot be done remotely).

Tokyo house are not big and ours is no exception.

So 24/7 of having to tiptoe around with all the different zoom meetings, etc...makes it no longer feel like a home at times.

No we cannot move to the country side as my business and clients are in Tokyo.

The first floor is the business, where my workshop is and where clients come.

Previously when work was over I could leave close the door go upstairs and be in my home not at work.

But not anymore, our bedroom doubles as my wife's office it no long feels like a place to relax.

So what is left the LDK where as one would expect in Tokyo isn't the biggest, so 4 adults trying to forget about the day's work is again not the most comfortable situation.

Having my 2 adult children move out for now isn't an option due to the cost and precarious situation of job security at this time.

To add to the whole problem are the extra costs.

The companies of all 3 once paid their travel cost, but now save that amount and only give a fraction of that as extra home office expenses (¥3,000 a month each) but the extra costs in electricity, water, fast internet due to a far higher need is far higher than the amount given,

So we now find ourselves by default subsidizing their companies.

Summer is the worst. 4 airconditioning on at the same time is a must as each one of us has to work in a different room and no way can anyone work in the heat especially with computers going full time.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

@Kumagaijin

As I just wrote I work from home, have for years now.

At first had the same problem.

So got into the habit of going on explorations every night.

My wife and I take off to different areas (at first our local neighbourhood) after dark just walking every little street and pathway we encountered.

Amazing the things and place we hadn't despite living in the area for 30 plus years.

We walk about 2 hours each night.

Now we take a bus to another area in a different direction each night and walk back to our home.

Since covid we keep a note on interesting places we find that we will like to go eat, drink or visit once things get safer.

There are a lot of really strange things out there that even after over 30 years had me going "what the H..." We kill ourselves laughing most nights.

Sunday night we found a house with an entire Disney theme with tiny houses, thousands of tiny Disney characters all placed around the front of the house in the window sills outside, in the flower garden, etc... It was so gaudy it was beautiful.

We had a good laugh.

Don't know your situation but after I started doing this I lost 10kg very quickly and easily and haven't regained it and no real effort.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Because work here is still not about productivity, but being seen and heard at work. Just take a midday nap ("he must be tired, he must work very hard") and it immediately looks better than working from home. And since working from home doesn't fit into the system here, of course some "research" has to be done.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Yeah, can't wait to give up WFH so that I can squeeze into an insanely over-crowded train and spend two hours a day commuting. I so miss that experience...

10 ( +10 / -0 )

"Telework fatigue" vs hectic, crowded, costly commute?

Am I missing something? Am I not doing it right? :)

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Teleworking is awesome:

more work done: I can work any time I want even late at night without worrying to wake up dead early to get an over crowded train, and I get so much more done than before.

more time with children: used to have 4 hours of commutation and now I can have breakfast and dinner with them, have more time to spend with them every day, stronger connections.
11 ( +11 / -0 )

I love teleworking, but my company has already announced the option for it will completely disappear once the pandemic ends. They only allow it during state of emergencies now anyway. I really wish Japan wouldn’t fight the future so hard.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Situation:

A spokesperson for the Japan Productivity Center, commenting on a survey that showed the proportion of people who worked fully remotely in a recent week in Japan fell from that in April.

Conclusion:

Efficiency and satisfaction with remote work has deteriorated, and 'telework fatigue' is emerging.

Either this statement lacks a lot of context and / or data to back it up for us to see and agree with the conclusion, or the JPC just reads the situation as they feel like?

Everybody is entitled to read the situation as they please. My own reading would be along the line of:

the oyajis are continuing to cling onto their fax-machines and to people coming to the office to operate them.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

In line with the baseless conclusion, it would have to be said that many are missing their commute, too.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Actually those going on about Japan should check out the similar reports/studies coming from the UK and USA.

In the UK what are being called "garden offices" essentially a glorified shed with aircon/hear and WiFi. Are in demand ( employees are paying for them) because like in Japan house especially in cities are small.

Separating home and office because difficult when your office is the kitchen table or bedroom.

As my friend in the UK said.

"Try having a zoom meeting when the children are home on summer break"

So he is now looking at buying a backyard shed/office meaning he pays and the family lose much of the already tiny yard space they had.

Working from home isn't for everyone and isn't practical either for everyone.

Before I had my present location my livingroom was my workshop and office.

It was like being at work 24/7.

Now the business is separate from home life ( or was until covid) when I leave the room I close the door behind me and I am home.

My wife doesn't have that luxury her "office" is our bedroom the computer, the printer, shredder, desk, etc.. forget a romantic night there isn't enough room other than to squeeze by and get in bed.

My daughter's work it all IT her tiny room has 7 different computers all somehow shoehorned into it and yes she needs all these different machines to run different OS etc .

So those that go on about how it is great, remember not everyone is doing the work you are and not everyone has the space needed and no their employers are not going to pay more for them to get a bigger residence.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What I love about wfh: more flexibility; no commuting in packed trains or buses; better work life balance; more time to exercise; little need to dress up.

what I miss about working in the office: team spirit and camaraderie; team and corporate culture; sense of being in normal times where we can go visit clients, meeting people, visiting factories etc.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

But the good thing to go to the office every day is, that I can meet all my cute female coworkers.

And I am sure they feel likewise about meeting you. Telework is here to stay. I expect many companies to start dumping real estate and leases soon.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

I do not miss the office, the annoying people that fake running, the people stealing my lunch. I do not miss teleworking either. I prefer to travel and enjoy this country.

Good luck to you all.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

As the comments show, it's great for some, hell for others. It depends on your job, circumstances, home and family, all sorts of variables. Going ahead, it is going to be more important for companies to offer flexible arrangements, so that those who enjoy homeworking, and are still productive away from the office, can be. Others can return to the office.

Once the vaccination level goes up and cases drop, it might get easier. Japan has not enforced homeworking too restrictively, so be grateful.

However, I think some companies will take advantage of the situation to reduce their overheads, so some folk are going to need to change jobs or they will feel like their employer has invaded their home and taken over their life.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@Antiquesaving

That's impressively creative, but maybe 'only in Japan'. If you did it in the UK, your chances of being mugged, stabbed or raped would rise quite a bit. You would also be regularly stopped by the police, who would assume that you were dealing drugs, casing properties to burgle or soliciting.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I've been working from home since March 2020 and I've hated every single day of it... except when we had heavy snow. I now go into the office twice a week for the sake of my mental health - luckily on my own, so it's Covid safe. I won't go back 5 days a week, I don't know anyone who will, but those few days, with different walls, sights and sounds really do help.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It is really just "work fatigue".

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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