Why don't Japanese telework even in this corona crisis? Many foreigners are surprised to see the GAP of the video of the commuter train being full, along with the video of the recent corona epidemic.
According to the "Workers' Awareness Survey" conducted by the Japan Productivity Center in July, the telework implementation rate was 20.4%. Although it increased by 1.2 points from the previous survey in April, the situation has continued to be about 20% since the survey in July 2020.
The telework rate rose to nearly 30% due to the state of emergency being issued in many parts of Japan in May 2008, but has remained at 20% ever since.
Why is telework not progressing so far when Japan should not be a developing country of communications? Apparently, the reason is also the way of thinking of the top Japanese companies.
Japanese who like unity
"Of course I want to telework if I can. But my boss says it's no good."
Many Japanese employee said like this.
What I'm talking to and listening to with many people is that "I agree with teleworking", but the boss doesn't approve of it. Of course, teleworking is flexibly allowed mainly by relatively large companies, but there are still overwhelmingly many opponents of teleworking.
The Japanese are a national character who likes unity. In particular, it was a natural era for people in their 50s, who occupy important positions in today's companies, to go to the office. It was also a time when it was normal for people to stay in the office after work. People of that generation in Japan probably don't want to easily telework
Membership type employment
Employment contracts in Japan are said to be membership-type compared to Europe and the United States. Instead of clarifying the work and responsibilities at the time of contract as in the West, we dare to make it ambiguous.
The reason for the ambiguity is that it is a virtue to help each other work. In Japan, many employment contracts have few detailed clarifications of their scope of work. But this creates a reason why teleworking is not possible. Telework is very inefficient because each other's work is not defined. The management of a company asks the employees in front of them for work and cooperates with them each time, so it is difficult to do it if they are far away.
Among the developed countries, Japan is a developing country of telework. The reality is far from the 70% telework shown by the government. I hope it works.