Does your company still offer remote work?
In my role as a researcher, I meet with many people and hear a variety of opinions, but remote work is the most common thing people look for in their next job when considering a job change. Few people want to be fully remote, but people mostly want to do hybrid work and go to the office two or three times a week. Reasons for this include the inability to concentrate on work if it’s fully remote, and the inability to distinguish between work and private life without going to the office. In particular, I have received a lot of feedback that having the option to work remotely is very convenient, especially for couples who are raising a child/children and are both working, as it makes it easier for them to take care of their children and pick them up from school, etc. on days when they have to be on duty.
As for companies, the latest "12th Workers' Attitude Survey" released by the Japan Productivity Center in January 2023, shows that the telework implementation rate is 16.8%. Prior to that, the "11th Workers’ Attitudes Survey" released by the same foundation in October 2022 showed a telework implementation rate of 17.2%. In the "10th Workers' Attitude Survey" also released in July 2022, the telework implementation rate was 16.2%, the lowest it has ever been. As the rate was 18.5% about a year ago in the same survey, even though in the "11th Workers’ Attitudes Survey" released in October the implementation rate increased a little, you can see that the telework rate in companies is gradually decreasing. Furthermore, the government's policy headquarters officially decided that from May 8th, they will shift COVID from "category 2 equivalent" to "category 5," the same as seasonal flu and other viruses, and it can be expected that the teleworking rate will drop further in the future.
For those who take time to prepare for work, such as putting on makeup, shaving, and getting their hair done, including travel time, it was necessary to get up early in the morning to get ready for work. I am not a morning person myself, so I feel much more relaxed on remote days because I don’t have to rush off to get everything done.
It is also not unusual for me and other new graduates in their second to third year of working during/post the pandemic to have never come to work without the remote option. In fact, I have never worked fully in the office without remote work since I joined the company as a new graduate in April 2022. My company allows employees to work more and more remote days as employees become more proficient in their work. Since the beginning of this month, I’m allowed to work full remote, but I can also choose to work in a hybrid style or go to the office every day. However, as people I talk to have said, while it is convenient, it is also difficult to maintain a good balance between work and private life, and I feel that it is easier to get distracted when working from home, so I personally do not intend to work full remote. However, I think it is one option for companies to let employees choose which working style works best for them.
As time changes, it might be easier for companies to secure the labor force by creating a comfortable working environment for workers, including remote options.