In Japan, remote work was rare a decade ago, but technological advancements have created a paradigm shift to today’s workplace dynamics. From telework to virtual meetings, business leaders have reshaped their workforce; however, some Japanese companies are still struggling to navigate the intricacies of remote work.

Despite these challenges, employers are considering adaptive measures to remain resilient and competitive in a global market.

According to a recent survey, more than 73 percent of Japanese workers — specifically, IT engineers, non-clerical engineers, and manufacturing engineers — prefer to work from home at least two days per week. The sentiment is no different on a global scale: Two-thirds of people want to work from home after the pandemic.

This shift has paved the way for employers to reimagine working options —  90 percent of major firms in Japan shared that they intend to continue their remote work arrangements even after the pandemic.

The paradigm shift: Welcome to the era of remote work

Remote work refers to working outside of the traditional office environment. Employees can work anywhere, whether at home, a café, a hotel, or even in another city or country.

Some tech companies in Japan have taken the lead by implementing remote work arrangements — challenging the conventional office layout. Yahoo Japan recently announced that they’re doubling down on their remote work efforts, allowing all 8,000 employees to work from anywhere in Japan. At the same time, Japanese tech giant Fujitsu launched their “Work-Life Shift” policy to offer flexibility to workers.

Besides flexibility, implementing remote work arrangements allows employees to save on commuting time and costs. A recent survey revealed that more than half (63.7 percent) of Japanese workers who have been working remotely at least once a week feel that cutting out the commute has helped their stress levels and provided more time for other activities.

Not only does it improve employee wellbeing, remote work also enables companies to thrive in the competitive global market. Here are some examples of how remote work can be beneficial for employers:

Attract and retain talent

With the fierce competition for talent, particularly for IT professionals, employers need to have a holistic approach when it comes to attracting candidates. A report by ManpowerGroup showed that 76 percent of employers in Japan are having difficulty filling jobs.

For this reason, some employers in Japan have started offering flexible working arrangements as part of their recruitment and retention strategy. For example, Panasonic introduced a four-day workweek to retain its engineer talent and nurture a healthy work-life balance.

Remote work is no longer a fancy perk; it’s a day-to-day necessity to attract and retain highly skilled talent.
By providing flexible arrangements and enriching the workplace experience, companies can have a better chance at standing out in an extremely competitive job market.

Opportunity to repurpose workspaces

Aside from the cost reduction in terms of office space, remote work offers an opportunity for companies to repurpose and redefine workspaces.

A Japanese fintech company, PayPay, redefined its office spaces by implementing a “work from anywhere at any time” system. The company “upended traditional ideas to reconfigure [the office] as a place for encounters with others, increasing engagement and collaboration, and engendering loyalty to PayPay.”

In addition, 54 percent of companies in Greater Tokyo reported they had a strong interest in finding new ways of using the office, which included increasing private rooms and booking options for remote meetings. Meanwhile, 53.5 percent were also keen to change the office layout to accommodate flexibility.

Satellite offices have also become a trend. Several businesses and workers have relocated to peripheral regions, which is likely due to the rising popularity of remote work. Inquiries about relocating to regional areas from Greater Tokyo reached almost 50,000 cases in 2021.

This confirms that companies and employees are reimagining their office space, which will continue to evolve as employers adapt to the needs of emerging work models.

Broader talent pool

The rise of remote work presents a new opportunity for companies to expand their talent searches beyond geographical boundaries. Companies are no longer limited to recruiting workers who are within commuting distance of their office. They can now offer opportunities to people regardless of where they are based.

Because of this, companies can focus on hiring candidates based solely on their qualifications.

Japan’s declining population is a critical reason why employers should expand their talent pool. Its old-age dependency ratio climbed to 53 percent in 2020. Data shows that the country will need more workers in the near future, which is already evident in the IT sector. By 2030, the industry ministry predicts that Japan will need 790,000 IT professionals.

Now more than ever, it is critical for Japan-based companies to remain agile and reevaluate workforce strategies. The need to adapt to the new ways of working is apparent, and it calls for companies to find viable solutions to compensate for the shrinking local talent pool.

How can a global employment platform enable a remote work game plan?

Companies considering hiring remote talent across borders must be aware of the legal nuances involved. Building international teams requires setting up an entity — unless you partner with a strategic ally. Globalization Partnersglobal employment platform streamlines and automates onboarding, payroll, and hiring, saving your company time and resources.

Our global employment platform grants employers greater access to talent by eliminating the barriers to building a remote team. Our technology performs two critical functions that are key for hiring international talent:

  • Ensures compliance. You need to remain compliant with local regulations when you cast your net to the broader talent pool. Failing to do so can put your company at risk. Our platform generates fully compliant employment contracts, as well as payroll setup, benefits, and more.
  • Provides the best employee experience. Your ability to onboard seamlessly and compliantly is crucial to retain remote talent. The administrative tasks involved in employee onboarding and management can be time-consuming and costly — our platform automates these processes to make them fast and easy, freeing you up to spend time on fostering relationships and an inclusive culture with your team.

Our HR experts are also available around the clock in over 187 countries to provide invaluable support throughout your global growth journey.

Leverage Globalization Partners’ industry-leading platform for greater access to top talent by eliminating barriers to building a global remote team. Contact us or schedule a customized demo to learn more about our global employment platform.

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