13 April 2023
On 6 April, specialist professional recruitment firm Robert Walters Japan announced the results of their latest survey* conducted on global professionals. (*See “Reference” at end for survey data details)
There has been a shift to returning to the office for companies in Japan due to concerns about reduced productivity from remote working, difficulties in establishing smooth communication and concerns about information management and security from the perspective of attracting and retaining talent. However, results from the survey show that a remote working system, a scheme that allows employees to live anywhere in the country and does not place any conditions on where they live, is an effective tool for allowing employees to choose where they work depending on their individual needs from the perspective of attracting and retaining talent by giving more freedom in choosing their work environment and location.
“My company has introduced a remote working system”
“Yes” responses from employees at foreign-owned companies: 39% vs Japanese-owned companies: 31%
The spread of the recent pandemic has triggered many companies to introduce a remote work system, which has now become a well-established trend. In Japan, where there is a serious talent shortage, there is a move by companies to focus on the realisation of diverse working styles to secure high-quality talent. Today, there is often a debate about which way of working is better – office work, remote work or a hybrid version of both.
Amid such debate, Robert Walters Japan conducted a survey on remote working systems that enable employees to live outside their commuting area and remote work, which have been implemented nationwide since the pandemic began. 37% of employees answered that their employer has introduced a remote working system (Foreign-affiliated: 39% and Japanese-affiliated: 31%).
67% of employees would like to use a remote work system.
67% of company employees answered that they would like to take advantage of a remote work system, while 15% answered that they “already use it” and 18% answered that they “don’t have a desire to use it”.
90% say not needing to commute to work is advantageous
Among those who are already using a remote working system, the top reasons of why they like to use it is “no commute” (91%), followed by “work-life balance” (72%) and “more productive than when I worked in an office” (47%). Conversely, the most common obstacles experienced were “communication methods” (40%), followed by the tendency to work longer hours (37%). 33% of respondents said they were not particularly negatively affected by working from home.
Burden of commuting
Among company employees who said they would like to use a remote working system, the top responses were “I get tired of commuting” (57%), “difficult to balance work with childcare or nursing care” (27%) and “I want to live somewhere else” (26%). These results show that commuting is not only a physical burden for company employees but also a mental burden.
Company employees who did not want to use a remote working system cited the advantages of working in an office including ‘it makes me feel connected to other people’ (55%) and ‘it makes me more productive’ (34%).
Around 60% of company employees say remote working systems are a decisive factor in changing jobs
The introduction of remote working systems for companies in Japan is a measure to improve the turnover rate. Many companies are introducing remote working systems as a way of recruiting talent and overcoming employee shortages, but how do company employees perceive this? The results of the survey show that around 60% of company employees said that a remote working system is a deciding factor in their decision to change jobs, and it can be said that the introduction of a remote working system has a significant impact on a company’s ability to attract talent.
Company employees are very positive about working abroad while living in Japan.
As talent shortage continues to be a global problem, we asked participants about working environments that are not bound to specific locations (i.e. the ability to work for overseas companies but doing so from Japan). 64% of company employees answered that they would like companies to implement cross-border remote working. Fewer than 10% said they would favour this set up, indicating that company employees have a flexible attitude towards working arrangements relating to their place of work.
Reference: Remote System Candidate Survey Data
Survey period: 20 February – 6 March 2023
Target group: company employees working in Japan registered with a company n=682
About Robert Walters Japan:
Established in London, United Kingdom, in 1985, Robert Walters is a specialist recruitment consultancy with operations in 31 countries around the world. Robert Walters Japan established its Tokyo office in 2000 and Osaka office in 2007. For over 20 years, we’ve been a driving force in the Japanese bilingual recruitment market, providing high quality candidates for our clients and access to the best jobs. Our consultants are experts in their respective industries and work in teams to provide recruitment consultation services across a wide range of industries and job categories.
PR & Communications, Robert Walters Japan
Phone: 03-4570-1500 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org