Fujitsu to halve office space in push for remote working amid virus

06, Jul. 2020

(NurPhoto/Getty/Kyodo)
(NurPhoto/Getty/Kyodo)

TOKYO, Kyodo - Fujitsu Ltd. said Monday it will halve its office space in Japan by March 2023 as it pushes for more of its 80,0000 employees to work remotely amid the new coronavirus pandemic.

The Japanese tech company joins other major businesses such as Hitachi Ltd., Toshiba Corp. and Sony Corp. in expanding work-from-home arrangements, which have been increasingly introduced in the country to reduce the risk of being infected with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Since February, when the virus was gradually spreading, Fujitsu has been able to reduce the number of non-factory workers commuting to its offices by roughly 80 percent. It will also save money by terminating some contracts for renting office space.

The company says it will set up hub offices in various areas in Japan with defined functions, such as showcasing products, demonstrating cutting-edge tech systems or collaborating with customers, and will also increase satellite office spaces.

"We want to realize a smart working style that is not constrained by time and location," Fujitsu Corporate Executive Officer Hiroki Hiramatsu, head of global human resources and corporate affairs unit, told an online press conference.

Starting later this month, it will no longer pay for employee commuter passes, but will instead offer 5,000 yen ($46) per month for employees to set up remote work environments, including the purchase of desks and chairs, and to offset communication fees.

Employees living away from home due to a domestic transfer can also return to their families and continue work through business trips and remote working, it said.

Likewise, those who need to move due to reasons such as taking care of family or a transfer of a spouse can also proceed with the same job at Fujitsu through remote working and business trips.

Fujitsu will no longer require employees to commute during their core working hours and will allow them to use their time flexibly according to their workload, role at the business and lifestyle. (Kyodo)