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Technology

Yahoo Japan to hire 100 moonlighters for strategic planning

SoftBank Group company to seek outside personnel to spur tech innovation

Yahoo has a workforce of 7,000 employees, about 95% of whom work from home or on a remote basis. (Photo by Kosaku Mimura) 

TOKYO -- Yahoo Japan, a subsidiary of Z Holdings, announced Wednesday that it will conclude work contracts by the end of September with more than 100 people employed by other companies but are allowed to hold side jobs.

The move is aimed at hiring workers of various backgrounds for strategic planning to promote technological innovation amid increasing competition in digital business fields including e-commerce and media services.

It is rare for a Japanese company to hire so many moonlighters.

Yahoo will solicit applicants, irrespective of age, starting Wednesday. Applicants, including freelance workers, will be required to have experience in areas such as strategic planning and founding new businesses. Compensation, length of work and other contract terms will differ depending on assignments and applicants.

Yahoo's parent Z Holdings is a member of SoftBank Group.

In the new strategic planning section Yahoo will establish, successful applicants will work on a remote basis for up to five hours or so per month, in principle, and receive 50,000 yen ($466).

Yahoo has a workforce of 7,000 employees, about 95% of whom work from home or on a remote basis. It will continue the work system.

An increase in freer styles of work, especially those utilizing the internet, has made it easier both for people to work extra jobs in addition to regular employment and companies to use such workers.

Yahoo will make remote work into a permanent system, effective in October, under which it will reimburse employees for actual traffic expenses rather than paying for regular commuting costs to the office, as is customary in Japan. Each employee will receive a work-from-home allowance of 7,000 yen per month.

Yahoo will also abolish its existing "core" work time from 10 p.m. until 3 p.m. so that employees can work anytime they wish except for weekends as well as late night and early morning.

The government is encouraging spare-time work as part of its reform of employment practices at a time when Japan's labor force is forecast to shrink. Lion, a leading manufacturer of toiletry products, has begun soliciting workers willing to work outside of regular employment conditions.

If big companies utilize more such workers, the diversification of work styles by individual workers and an improvement in productivity based on outside knowledge and experience are expected to increase.

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