Remote work after Covid-19: most to allow 3-4 days per week,28% to allow every day

173 companies in Japan share workplace practices they plan to continue beyond the pandemic

Remote work after Covid-19: most to allow 3-4 days per week,  28% to allow every day

On 8 June, specialist professional recruitment firm Robert Walters Japan announced the results of a survey conducted among 173 companies in Japan on workplace practices they have adopted in the new normal. 

With the vaccine rollout in Japan underway,
we surveyed companies on growing expectations and anxieties surrounding coming back to work

in the post-pandemic era.

Remote work after Covid-19: most companies allow remote work 3-4 days a week, over half expect more than 50% of employees to continue

Of the 173 foreign-affiliated and Japanese global companies that responded to our survey, 86% said they would continue to offer remote work even after Covid-19. The survey also revealed that in terms of how often remote work would be allowed, three to four days a week (42%) was the most common response followed by every day (28%). When asked what percentage of the company’s workforce they predict would continue to work from home beyond the pandemic, the most common response was “51-75%” of employees (33%), followed by “76-100%” of employees (29%).

Rush to prepare for hybrid workforces: increasing investment in IT infrastructure and employee development

As the hybrid workstyle (a combination of working in the office and remote work) is expected to become the norm in the future, IT infrastructure such as Wi-Fi and cloud tools (42%), and general training/upskilling for employees (40%) were cited as the top areas that companies plan to increase investment in beyond Covid-19. 30% of companies also plan to invest in training for managers to help them maintain productivity among hybrid teams.

The role of the office: creating a workplace that encourages collaboration

Of the 173 companies that responded to the survey, 34% are planning to downsize or renovate their offices. According to the survey results, 61% of companies plan to redesign their office spaces to allow hot desking (free seating), 59% will reduce the number of individual desks and increase common and meeting spaces, and 55% will reduce their total office space.

Speaking on the results of the survey, Managing Director at Robert Walters Japan Jeremy Sampson commented: “During the pandemic, most work could be accomplished remotely thanks to the acceleration of digitisation and improvements in efficiency such as the spread of electronic signatures and online meetings. That being said, remote work still poses some challenges, such as difficulties in communicating with colleagues, feelings of social isolation, and lack of inspiration sharing. On the other hand, many companies are seeing an improvement in work-life balance among employees, such as effective use of time that used to be devoted to commuting. As we move toward the end of the pandemic, the purpose of coming to the workplace will be re-evaluated based on these advantages and disadvantages, and we will see rapid progress in creating workplaces that focus on promoting collaboration and increasing a sense of belonging.”

How often would employees be allowed to work remotely per week?
which measures has your company taken and will continue beyond Covid-19?
which measures regarding office space has your company implemented or will implement?

Survey period: 12 May to 26 May 2021
Target: Foreign-affiliated and Japanese global companies in Japan (responses from HR department or management) n=161

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