Fujitsu to adopt unlimited teleworking
Companies are rethinking employment in response to government push
TOKYO -- Japanese electronics manufacturer Fujitsu announced Tuesday plans to introduce full teleworking from April for its permanent employees. The government has promoted the idea of work-life balance recently, and the idea appears to be catching on with some companies.
Effective April 21, Fujitsu will allow all 35,000 of its permanent employees, including marketing staff, system engineers and administrators, to work from home or elsewhere. The move is one of the largest by a single company in Japan.
Employees will be provided with the information technology tools they need to work from anywhere. Fujitsu completed a two-year trial of the teleworking system with 1,400 employees. It found that the more flexible work arrangements can improve productivity while maintaining adequate security.
Under the company's teleworking system, employees who want to work away from the office must get permission from their supervisors, but there is no fixed limit to the number of days they can work remotely.
The system offers several advantages: Telecommuters save time by not having to travel to and from the office. Combining teleworking with flextime gives employees who must care for elderly family members or children greater flexibility balancing work and private time. Fujitsu hopes the new work style will help it hire and retain talent.
Japanese businesses are under pressure to offer better working conditions for employees, due partly to the government's reform push.
Microsoft Japan began by allowing employees to work from home for up to three days a week. In May last year, it expanded the system to cover all of its 2,400 or so permanent employees, including those at a product development unit. It lets them work from anywhere for up to five days a week.
Snack maker Calbee plans to lift the ceiling on teleworking, currently two days a week, and allow unlimited teleworking, starting in April or afterward.
Fujitsu aims to use its experience with teleworking to offer IT systems to companies looking to introduce something similar.