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Japan turns to telework to improve work-life balance

Japan turns to telework to improve work-life balance

More and more Japanese companies are rising to the call of prime minister Shinzo Abe to fix Japan's moribund economy by giving employees the flexibility to work remotely. The practice is known as "telework," or terewaku, in Japan, and it's slowly gaining traction in a country where corporate norms such as putting in face time i

Source: qz.com

Here's a interesting read about the push for more workplace flexibility in Japan that's actually being led by the prime minister. The challenges they mention are a flashback to decades past in the US and other countries. But their strong culture of facetime may be a unique change management issue.


Telecommuting up 115% says new report – Demographic data offers some surprises

Telecommuting up 115% says new report – Demographic data offers some surprises

The 2017 State of Telecommuting in the U.S. Report was released today by Global Workplace Analytics and FlexJobs.

Source: globalworkplaceanalytics.com

The report covers trends in the telecommuting workforce over the last ten years including:

 
• Demographics of the average telecommuter (age, gender, education, salary)
• Telecommuting by industry, occupation, and sector
• Telecommuting by metro area (prevalence and growth)
• Actual and potential economic and environmental impact of telecommuting


IBM’s recall of remote workers sounds like a death rattle. Say “goodbye” to the best and brightest.

IBM’s recall of remote workers sounds like a death rattle. Say “goodbye” to the best and brightest.

“Everyone I know is very upset,” says one employee, who like most interviewed asked to remain anonymous while discussing an employer. Some workers furiously began looking for new jobs. Others say they have stopped contributing to long-term projects because they aren’t sure whether they’ll be around in the future. "

Source: qz.com

They can say "goodbye" to the best and brightest talent. Iike Yahoo and Best Buy, IBM is in deep trouble. Somehow that seems to create a "circle the wagons" reaction.

 

But the connection between co-location and collaboration or innovation has NOT been proven. Many of the studies often cited in these arguments date back to the early 1990s when working at a distance was much more difficult. 

 

What has been proven is that: 1) open offices are distracting and counterproductive. They are a particular nightmare for introverts who make up over 40% of employees; and 2) workplace flexibility is key to attracting and retaining talent.


Now here’s an interesting headline: “Fight Trump. Work from home”

Now here’s an interesting headline: “Fight Trump. Work from home”

About 135 million Americans commute to work, and according to a 2016 survey by research firm Global Workplace Analytics (GWA), 50 percent of them have jobs they could do remotely at least part time. If all those workers skipped the commute just every other day, we could reduce greenhouse gas emissions as much as we would by taking 9 million cars off the road.

Source: www.motherjones.com

The article points to employer and employee benefits of remote work including reduced work-life conflict, lower greenhouse gas emissions, a reduction on the outbound migration of talent, and even...increased voter turnout!


Dell’s goal of 50,000 employees telecommuting by 2020 driven by real estate savings and sustainability 

Dell’s goal of 50,000 employees telecommuting by 2020 driven by real estate savings and sustainability 

"Whether you call it telecommuting, remote work, mobile work or distributed work, these flexible-work arrangements are here to stay, ...says Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics, a San Diego-based consulting firm that specializes in flexible-workplace strategies."

Source: www.hreonline.com

Already 20k Dell employees work at home and average of about 10 days a month. Their program dates back to 2009 when they discovered their office space was grossly underutilized.


35k Fujitsu employees will be offered unlimited telework after successful trial shows increased productivity

35k Fujitsu employees will be offered unlimited telework after successful trial shows increased productivity

TOKYO -- Fujitsu announced unlimited telework will be available to all 35k permanent employees. 

Source: asia.nikkei.com

The article indicates this is the largest Japanese telework initiative yet but others including Microsoft Japan and snack manufacturer, Calbee have expanded their programs too.

 

In part a response to government's focus on better work-life balance for its citizens, Fujitsu also hopes to demonstrate how their own technology can support a remote workforce. 


Gallup finds huge shift in employee engagement among remote employees. Highest now among those who do so 60-80% of the time, up from 20% of the time just last year. 

Gallup finds huge shift in employee engagement among remote employees. Highest now among those who do so 60-80% of the time, up from 20% of the time just last year. 

All employees who spend at least some (but not all) of their time working remotely have higher engagement than those who

don’t ever work remotely. And the tipping point for optimal engagement has

increased dramatically — from less than 20% of time to 60% to 80% of time

working remotely.

Source: www.gallup.com

The report also found those who work remotely 2-3 days a week feel substantially more productive than those who are office-bound or are who work remotely less frequently. 


Three quarters of stay-at-home parents say flexibility would allow them to continue to work 

Three quarters of stay-at-home parents say flexibility would allow them to continue to work 

"While the official U.S. unemployment rate has declined since the start of the recession in late 2007, the total share of adults who are not employed has risen in recent years. This survey examines the views and experiences of this broad group of prime-age workers who are not employed, including ...what it would take to get them working...".

Source: kff.org

With employers wringing their collective hands about talent and labor shortages, why aren't more hearing the message: the key is flexibility.


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