Yahoo Japan Tells Employees to Work Remotely and Fly to Office When Needed

By Naveen Athrappully
Naveen Athrappully
Naveen Athrappully
Naveen Athrappully is a news reporter covering business and world events at The Epoch Times.
January 12, 2022 Updated: January 12, 2022

Yahoo Japan is offering employees an option to work from anywhere in the country, said the company recently, as the pandemic irrevocably and fundamentally alters the global work landscape.

The internet company informed its 7,100 employees that they don’t need to regularly come to the office, and in circumstances when they are required to, they could be flown to work from any part of Japan.

As companies around the world are finding it difficult to bring back employees due to the sudden spike of Omicron, Yahoo Japan has evolved radically on the remote working trend in a country where long hours and attendance are staple components of work life.

“As a result of interactions and surveys that found 90 percent of employee work performance did not change or even improved when working from home, we’re allowing Yahoo employees to live anywhere in Japan. This doesn’t mean we’re denying the benefits of the office, you’ll be able to fly in when needed,” said Kentaro Kawabe on Twitter on Wednesday in Japanese. Kawabe is the president of Z Holdings Corporation, the parent company of Yahoo Japan.

The program is expected to take effect from April 1 with the company increasing its daily commuting budget to $1,300 (150,000 yen), according to a Yahoo report. If a worker is instructed to be in office, they are recommended to live in a place from where they can reach the work premises by 11 a.m. the next day. Yahoo Japan will still encourage employees to meet up and socialize.

Companies have resorted to saving on real estate after the pandemic lockdowns forced them to stay out of offices. Instead of spending on real estate, businesses are equipping employees with the necessary technology to work and communicate online such as subscriptions to faster internet services, standing desks, ergonomic chairs, and Peloton classes. As economies gradually ease back to normalcy, it remains to be seen whether companies will resume the earlier work structure.

Yahoo Japan had planned to vacate 40 percent of its leased office space in Tokyo by the end of November last year, according to a report by Nikkei Asia. The 30,000 square foot meter area was spread across seven floors in Kioi Tower in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward and five floors in Minato Ward.

Since the pandemic began, only 10 percent of employees have worked in the office. The move is expected to save the company billions of yen in rent.

Panasonic, another Japanese conglomerate, also announced a change in its work schedule. The corporation now requires employees to work four days per week, after the government suggested the change last year.

“We must support the well-being of our employees,” Panasonic CEO Yuki Kusumi told investors at a recent briefing, according to Nikkei Asia.

Naveen Athrappully is a news reporter covering business and world events at The Epoch Times.