A new normality at workplace after COVID-19 in Japan

A new normality at workplace after COVID-19 in Japan

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The New Normality at workplace

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After Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared an end to Japan’s coronavirus emergency on May 25 in order to bring normality back to the country, many Japanese employers have started asking their employees to come back to work. However, many companies are making the transition from work-from-home to work-at-office in a phased manner to prevent the second wave of infection and at the same time, experts are envisioning a “new normality” (新しい生活様式) that will continue to make extensive use of telecommuting.

Let’s take a look at how Japan’s leading companies are taking initiatives to the new normality.

Hitachi 

The Japanese multinational conglomerate announced their plan to lay the foundation of the “new normality” within the company by adopting teleworking as the new official working style from April 2021.

Before that, let’s see what are some steps that the company have followed since when the state of emergency was declared.

・ Assign employees to work from home 2 to 3 days a week.
・Focus on job type-based human resources management (which provides clear job descriptions from the beginning and hire people with right skills and experiences instead of hiring new graduates and then assigning them to a position after a long period of training).
・Improve IT environment that enables remote work with about 80,000 simultaneous connections in stable conditions.
・Establish telework consultation service in response to health-related potential risk caused by prolonged stay-at-home.

For the time being, the company will provide all employees with a subsidy of 3,000 yen per month, starting in June, for expenses necessary for working from home and for infection prevention measures such as masks and disinfectant when they arrive at work.

Sony

The work-at-home principle, which had been in place since late March, continued until May 31, and will be gradually relaxed from June 1.

・ In early June, the office attendance rate will be reduced to about 20% and 30% from the third week.
・ Employees are advised to not use public transports during the peak time between 8:30am and 9:30am.
・ Divide members into groups to limit face-to-face contacts.
・ Body temperature will be checked when entering the office building and the number of people in elevators will be limited.

Panasonic

Another Japanese multinational consumer electronics corporation is following the “new way of life” advocated by the government. Measures that have been taken by Panasonic are:

・ Employees are asked to go back to the office at different times.
・ Continue to take advantage of online meetings.
・ Events and gatherings will be held on a small scale.

KIRIN

◎ KIRIN Holdings:
Following other major corporations, Kirin will also stick to the work-from-home though the end of June with numerous other actions to limit in-person contacts.

・ Reduce the number of people attending work at office to approximately 30%.
・ Used web conference.
・ Business trips and travel abroad are prohibited, including for personal purposes.
・ Domestic business trips are considered based on the level of necessity while non-essential and non-urgent trips to and from Hokkaido and Tokyo areas will be carefully taken into account.

Source: Newsweek

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