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Business trends

Telework from Okinawa? Japan's remote-friendly job listings surge

Employers widen their search for scarce talent in tech sector and sales

Desperate to secure tech talent, many Japanese companies are offering telework options for employees. 

TOKYO -- With the protracted pandemic forcing businesses to embrace telecommuting and other flexible arrangements, more Japanese employers are scrapping geographical requirements for workers, particularly in hotly competitive fields like engineering and online sales.

Recruitment agency BizReach says this June's proportion of such job listings was 13.2 times that in February 2020, the month before COVID-19 cases began to rise sharply in Japan. Most of the listings are for full-time positions with the option of going remote.

BizReach serves mainly those searching for management or specialized positions, paying an average of about 7.5 million yen ($68,500) a year. It counted more than 1.3 million registered users as of April.

From February to November of 2020, the proportion of listings without geographic requirements peaked at 4.9 times the February share at one point. It reached eight times in December, when a third wave of infections began in Japan. The figure has continued to trend upward.

Many of these listings have been for engineers at technology companies or for online-based sales -- occupations plagued with chronic staffing shortages and where employers face cutthroat competition for workers.

"The rise of telework has made it easier for companies to tap work-ready talent across Japan," BizReach executive Tetsuya Sakai said.

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