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Japan’s NTT to Make Home the Primary Workplace in Rule Change

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (NTT) will in July begin remote work as its new norm for around 30,000 of its domestic employees, treating attendance as a business trip and allowing for work and commute from anywhere in Japan, even by air, a source familiar with the matter said Saturday.

The telecom giant will have no limit set for transportation expenses and will pay for accommodations when employees commute to work after the company, like many other firms, has introduced different working styles as part of measures against the coronavirus pandemic, the source said.

The new plan is part of the company’s efforts to retain a talented workforce in the face of labor shortages by offering a flexible working environment. Some other Japanese companies are also introducing diversified working styles.

Flea market app operator Mercari Inc. and portal site operator Yahoo Japan Corp. launched similar schemes, allowing their employees to live and work anywhere in the country.

Still, some major companies are pushing for employees back to the office. Tesla Inc. chief executive Elon Musk said in an email to administrative staff that he wants office workers to return to the office for a minimum 40-hour workweek or be fired.

Honda Motor Co. and e-commerce giant Rakuten Group Inc. also reportedly discontinued or reduced teleworking days, reflecting an improvement in the pandemic.

NTT employs about 180,000 people in Japan, of which 30,000 will be eligible for the new scheme. The telecom company has said it is considering allowing all 320,000 employees of the NTT group worldwide to work remotely.

NTT plans to begin decentralizing its headquarters and management departments from the capital to core cities in regional areas by next April and increase the number of its satellite offices from the some 400 it currently has.

Source: Kyodo News