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Business trends

Honda's bow to 'new normal' points Japan Inc in a fresh direction

COVID-19 gives workers flexibilities that spell change for corporate culture

Corporate Japan's acceptance of teleworking amid the COVID-19 outbreak might end up alleviating the crush on Tokyo's rush-hour trains. (Photo by Nikkei)

TOKYO -- Honda Motor is introducing work-from-home allowances and rearranging its office spaces in the latest sign that large Japanese companies confronting COVID-19 are making gradual but permanent revisions to their corporate cultures.

"After experiencing teleworking at home, we realized it is possible to implement a new kind of work style we had never imagined," said Asako Suzuki, Honda's head of human resources and corporate governance. "It has become apparent that we were spending more time commuting and in meetings than was needed. [The pandemic and subsequent telework boom] made us reconsider our workflow from scratch."

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