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NTT keeps teleworking as the new norm in post-pandemic Japan

  • May 28, 2020
  • , Nikkei Asian Review , 6:02 p.m.
  • English Press

Nikkei staff writer


TOKYO — Japan’s vast NTT conglomerate will maintain the ratio of teleworking employees at 50% or higher for about 280 of its companies after June, Nikkei learned on Thursday.


The move by the country’s largest telecommunications concern comes after the government lifted the state of emergency on Monday.


The telecom giant, which employs 180,000 people nationwide, will make teleworking the new norm except for staff involved in off-site work, such as infrastructure construction and sales.


NTT, the group’s holding company, informed top management of each company on Thursday that at least 50% of office staff should work from home until vaccines and remedies for the coronavirus become widely available.


At NTT headquarters and eight of the group’s largest companies, a combined 50,000 staff are office workers. One NTT official told Nikkei that the style of pre-pandemic office work will significantly change. “We’ll sort out what kind of work should be done in person and remotely and will change our work style dramatically,” said the official.


A total of 276 NTT subsidiaries — including NTT Docomo, NTT East and NTT West — will decide on the right mix of teleworking staff.


Teleworking is difficult for employees involved in infrastructure, call centers and sales. As of the end of May, nearly 60% of NTT group staff worked from home. For office workers, this number rises to 90%.


NTT companies will divide office workers into groups and introduce a shift system. Currently, NTT’s evaluation system focuses around on-premise work. This will be replaced by a performance-based system.


When employees must go to the office, the company will have them stagger working hours. NTT Docomo and NTT Communications have already introduced flextime, core time of which is between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. The company will encourage all employees to stagger working hours after June.


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