Newspaper article The Daily Yomiuri (Toyko, Japan)

More Companies Open to Allowing Employees to Work at Home

Newspaper article The Daily Yomiuri (Toyko, Japan)

More Companies Open to Allowing Employees to Work at Home

Article excerpt

Teleworking, a work style that features telecommunications technology that allows people to work at any time or place, is becoming common, buoyed by a recent trend to require a review of conventional work approaches, as well as an improvements in the security level of computers.

Teleworking has become more accessible to many business people, while facilitating frequent internal communications and other issues have emerged.

Hiroshi Muramoto, head of Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co.'s second sub branch office in the western part of Tokyo, in Tachikawa, Tokyo, started working from home once or twice a month in December.

Muramoto, 47, checks his 18 subordinates' work progress using a company-provided computer for teleworking.

"After my son and daughter leave the house, I can concentrate on work here better than when I'm in the office," Muramoto said. "It's good for me because I can carefully weigh middle- and long-term perspective."

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance last October increased the number of people who were eligible to work from home. Previously, only assistant section chiefs and workers at lower positions could work at home, but now just about all 13,000 regular employees are eligible to adopt teleworking.

The company's paperless initiative enables its employees to work outside the office. It has also gone to computers with a high security level for teleworking to provide the similar working environments available in office surroundings.

Lenovo Japan, the Japanese arm of a major computer manufacturer, introduced teleworking in April last year for all its regular employees, without limiting the amount of teleworking time.

Takeshi Murakami, an employee of the company, went to his hometown of Fukuoka in November after he signed up for one week of teleworking.

Given the opportunity, Murakami worked in a shared office in the city and interacted with locals in person and through social media. Murakami hopes to take advantage of such interpersonal connections for new business development.

According to a survey conducted by the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry, 16 percent of companies with 100 employees or more adopted teleworking in 2015, almost double the 9 percent in 2013.

The government in September listed the promotion of teleworking as one of the pillars of workstyle reform. …

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