Majority of respondents from a survey said that they want to continue telecommuting even after the pandemic has ended.
Telecommuting Perks and Problems
The Japanese government recently conducted a survey regarding the current work practices. Of all the respondents, 70% stated that they want to continue telecommuting – or working from home – even after the pandemic is over.
Of those 70% in favor of telecommuting, these numbers can be categorized into a couple of groups. Almost 25% are fully in favor of telecommuting after the Coronavirus is contained. More than 45% of respondents only “somewhat think so”.
The survey also asked what they liked about telecommuting. Most of the respondents were happiest about the decreased need for commuting. Less than 70% of people from the survey enjoyed the lack of commuting.
Another popular answer was that telecommuting allowed 50.6% of people to live and work in places that were more affordable.
Here are other common answers that respondents gave as to why they are in favor of telecommuting:
47.7% mentioned that they really liked that they were able to take care of their family more during telecommuting.
42.4% said that they liked having less unproductive overtime hours currently.
41.6% of respondents said that working from home offered a better working environment for people with physical disabilities.
The survey also probed on perceived problems of telecommuting. Here are a few of them:
More than 70% stated that there was work to be done in the office. They couldn’t do this work from home.
Less than 40% thought that increased telecommuting periods would lessen the intimacy between colleagues.
35.8% said that communications with bosses and colleagues were harder.
30% were being bothered by certain family members like children.
29.9% reported that telecommuting had increased their utility and food costs.
Last May, a good number of companies already made the conscious decision to continue telecommuting practices. These included major companies like Hitachi and the NEC Corp.
This did not help the prevailing issue of revitalizing certain regional economies though. In certain regions, the only people left behind are the aged. This is because the youth often head to Tokyo.
However, one website may change all of this. This website is for side jobs and thrives on the telecommuting process. It is called Furusato Kengyo and roughly translates to, “side jobs for hometowns.”
The idea is to hire company employees and even students to partake in certain online jobs. These jobs would then help increase business activity in regional areas.
One example of this in action can be seen in Hida, city in Gifu Prefecture. Utilizing Furusato Kengyo, they called out to people who could help rice farms expand their sales for locally produced rice.
One of the people who answered the call was an automotive salesman from the nearby Aichi Prefecture. The salesman was able to share his expertise and experience on marketing, branding, and sales channels.
The hope is that if rice sales increase to a certain degree, then the youth may return to their area and continue working there.