In Japan, Working From Home Is a Government Supported Activity

July 24, 2017

Americans love to telecommute. 34 percent of Americans work at least 4 days a week from home. Only 4 percent of Japanese work from home at least one day per week. The Japanese government wants this to change. Why? Two big reasons: To increase productivity and to prepare for the influx of visitors for the 2020 summer Olympics.

In Japan, Working From Home Is a Government Supported Activity

Quartz reports:

“The reasons behind the government’s push for telecommuting are also gaining urgency. Japan has long had a productivity problem–its workers spend among the most hours in the office in the world but are not particularly productive (paywall). Its workforce is also shrinking. But the recent death of an employee at Japan’s largest advertising company allegedly due to overwork, and a grave childcare crisis, are putting more pressure on Abe’s government to address corporate Japan’s problems.”

With a million people expected for the 2020 Summer Olympics, Tokyo is taking a test run today, July 24, and asking people to work from home, in order to ease congestion on public transportation.

While many Americans want to work from home, the culture in Japan is different, and people are hesitant to work from home. Face time is extremely important in Japanese culture (hence the long hours but low productivity). The company would like to fix that. It’s healthier to have high productivity and shorter hours and better for the economy as well.

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