Japanese Banks to Introduce Telecommuting and Reduced Working Hours

August 18, 20168:42 am680 views

Japanese Banks are currently reviewing new patterns and styles of working to include – telecommuting, flexible working, and reduced working hours. By introducing such systems, the carers and parents can give sufficient time to their personal lives to be with their families and kids.

Mizuho Financial Group plans to allow some 23,000 employees and its two banking units the convenience of working from home. This will be introduced as early in September. The company has further distributed tablet devices to all employees such that they communicate from home by email or video.

In April, Resona Holdings Inc. established a new job type, the “smart employee,” which includes shorter hours for those with very young children. While the bonuses offered to Smart employees’ are 30 percent lower than those offered to the regular employees, they will not be asked to make transfers that require change of residence etc. Smart employees can reduce their working hours until their children are third graders at elementary school, or for up to three years for nursing care.

For regular employees, reduced working hours are allowed until their children are three years old or for up to one year for nursing care, Japan Times reported.

After fixed periods, smart employees can resume their status as regular employees. As of July 1, there were 177 smart employees at the three Resona group banks, including part-time workers who were promoted.

See: Growing Mismatch in the Job Market in Japan for Q2 2016

In another working arrangement, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. was among the banks trailblazing the current change in working pattern trend.

The bank started allowing employees to work from home way back in 2014, and by the end of July, 18,000 employees were eligible to telecommute using personal dedicated computers, especially those who need to ensure care for their family members.

The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ started allowing workers involved in child care or nursing care to telecommute from April. The Japanese government is pushing employers to reassess their working hours and consider other reforms.

“Many Japanese companies embraced telecommuting and remote working last summer to help address the power shortages across the Tokyo area. And looking at the shrinking and aging population here, when you take location out of the equation, you widen the pool of potential candidates,” said Japan-based Hays Operations Director, Asia, Christine Wright.

“Remote working is also more environmentally-friendly and time-efficient than traditional commuting, and it of course reduces overall office costs.”

Also read: Japan’s jobless rate hit 21-year low of 3.1% in June

Image credit: wsj.com

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