The Daily Manila Shimbun


Japan economy ministry to promote telework every month

August 10, 2017

TOKYO- Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is considering promoting telework every month in a program covering all of its employees, Jiji Press learned Wednesday.

The ministry will choose a specific day of the month as Telework Day when its employees are allowed to work outside their offices, ministry officials said.

According to the officials, the ministry will be the first central government agency to allow telework every month. The program, seen starting as early as September, will follow the launch of a public-private national Telework Day campaign last month.

The ministry hopes that its move will encourage companies to implement diverse and flexible work styles including telework, the officials said.

The ministry started considering its own telework program at the instruction of Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko.

Around 1,000 employees are expected to work from home or other places outside the offices. The program will not be limited to workers rearing children and caring for family members.

In the national Telework Day campaign, the annual day to promote telework was fixed at July 24, the scheduled date of the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in 2020.

Through the campaign, the government aims to reduce the number of commuters and ease public transport congestion during the game.

The government hopes to establish telework as a widely adopted practice in Japan in order make it a legacy of the Tokyo Games, as the work style is also expected to help improve productivity and diversify human resources utilized at workplaces.

Seko has actively reformed work styles at the ministry since he took its helm in August 2016. He introduced tablet computers for use at meetings to establish a paperless environment. Jiji Press