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Survey of teleworking by global companies

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Posted by en world Japan

3 months ago

80% plan to continue to implement teleworking, 50% plan to do so almost permanently

en world Japan K.K. (headquarters: Chuo City, Tokyo, President: Vijay Deol), one of Japan’s largest recruiting firms specializing in global human resources, conducted a questionnaire survey of teleworking by companies, and 189 global companies implementing teleworking responded.

 Summary of survey result

・ 80% of companies that offer teleworking options to employees plan to continue the practice, and 50% of those plan to continue almost permanently. The largest percentage plan to allow employees to work remotely two to three days a week.
・ The largest percentage of companies said that teleworking does not affect employee performance.
・ The most common challenge that companies face is communication between employees.
・ The most common measure companies used to establish teleworking as a new workstyle was to increase communication between team members.
・ The largest percentage of companies think that teleworking benefits employees by reducing commuting time and the stress of commuting on overcrowded trains.
・ Only 6% of companies have closed or reduced the number of offices due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

 Comments on the results

Vijay Deol, President &Representative Director

As the COVID-19 crisis has affected companies the world over, there has been an overwhelming response to increasing flexibility and remote working options. Surprisingly, 20% of companies that responded said that there was an improvement in performance, more than those that experienced a decline in performance! There are a number of reasons why people can perform better in a more flexible working environment. Several respondents indicated advantages such as reduced commuting time and, subsequently, reduced stress. However, this is not to say that flexible working arrangements don’t present challenges. While having more flexibility can contribute to higher engagement amongst employees, limitations on personal interaction, and communication can have the opposite effect. Companies have discovered that it is critical to make proactive efforts to ensure teamwork and communication while people are working remotely. As 80% of companies responding to our survey indicated that they would continue remote and flexible working arrangements for now and 50% said they would continue post-COVID-19, the focus will need to remain on keeping employees engaged and interacting with one another productively. In the post-COVID-19 world, remote and flexible working arrangements will be one of the key elements of employer branding and, while it’s a positive indicator that this can enhance performance, the companies that embrace this evolution of the workplace and manage it effectively will be most successful.

Details of survey results

1. 80% of companies plan to continue to implement teleworking after July. The most common reason to implement teleworking for all the employees was to ensure safety (Fig. 1, Fig. 2, Fig. 3, Fig. 4)

We asked companies implementing teleworking whether they planned to continue the practice after July, and approximately 30% plan to implement the workstyle for all the employees (foreign capital companies: 28%, Japanese companies: 24%) while 50% would implement it for certain employees (foreign capital companies: 51%, Japanese companies: 50%). We asked them why.

The top reason to implement teleworking for all employees was to ensure employee safety, and 84% of respondents gave that reason (foreign capital companies: 91%, Japanese companies: 63%). Over 70% of foreign capital companies plan to implement teleworking for all employees because they wanted to establish a flexible workstyle and to improve employees’ work-life balance since teleworking did not affect operations, which suggests that they feel positive about continuing to implement teleworking  not only from a safety perspective but also from other perspectives.

The top reason to implement teleworking for certain employees was the inability to implement the practice for all employees because some people had no choice but to come to the office due to their jobs and work (foreign capital companies: 100%, Japanese companies: 88%). More than 50% of Japanese companies answered that they had not implemented a teleworking environment necessary for all employees to work remotely (foreign capital companies: 7%, Japanese companies: 53%).

The top reason not to implement teleworking was because of the company’s policy (foreign capital companies: 67%, Japanese companies: 100%).

[Fig. 1] Please respond if you are implementing teleworking. Do you plan to continue after July?


[Fig. 2] Please respond if you plan to continue to implement teleworking for all employees. Why do you plan to do so? (Multiple answers allowed)
     

[Fig. 3] Please respond if you plan to continue to implement teleworking for certain employees. Why do you plan to do so? (Multiple answers allowed)
     

[Fig. 4] Please respond if you do not plan to continue to implement teleworking. Why is that? (Multiple answers allowed)

     

2. Approximately 50% of respondents plan to continue to implement teleworking     almost permanently.  The largest percentage plan to make employees work remotely two to three days a week. (Fig. 5, Fig. 6) 

When asked how long they planned to implement teleworking, approximately 50% answered that they plan to do so almost permanently (foreign capital companies: 52%, Japanese companies: 36%). The percentage of foreign capital companies that plan to continue to implement teleworking almost permanently was higher than that of Japanese companies by 16 points.

We asked companies how frequently they planned to allow employees to work remotely, and the largest percentage of 42% chose two to three days a week (foreign capital companies: 37%, Japanese companies: 56%) while only 16% of them chose five days a week/all business days (foreign capital companies: 18%, Japanese companies: 8%).

[Fig. 5] How long do you plan to continue to implement teleworking?



[Fig. 6] How long do you plan to allow employees work remotely?



3. The largest percentage of companies said that teleworking does not affect employee performance. (Fig. 7)

We asked companies implementing teleworking how employee productivity and performance had changed after the implementation of teleworking, and the largest percentage, 42%, said that productivity and performance had not changed (foreign capital companies: 45%, Japanese companies: 35%).

[Fig. 7] How did employee productivity and performance change after you implemented teleworking?



4. The most common challenge that companies face is communication between employees. (Fig. 8)

We asked companies what challenges they faced in implementing teleworking, and the largest percentage chose communication between employees (foreign capital companies: 67%, Japanese companies: 74%). The second most common challenges were maintenance of employee motivation and engagement for foreign capital companies (foreign capital companies: 50%, Japanese companies: 56%) and network and communication environments for Japanese companies (foreign capital companies: 40%, Japanese companies: 65%). 

The percentage point difference between foreign capital companies and Japanese companies was the greatest for “employee evaluation system” at 30 points. Because a lower percentage of foreign capital companies see the practice as a challenge since they evaluate employees on performance, foreign capital companies and Japanese companies evaluate employees differently.

[Fig. 8] What challenges do you face in implementing teleworking? (Multiple answers allowed)

 

5. The most common measure companies used to establish teleworking as a new     workstyle was to increase communication between team members (Fig. 9)

We asked companies measures they used to establish teleworking as a new workstyle, and the most common measure was to increase communication between team members (foreign capital companies: 47%, Japanese companies: 45%), and the second most common measure was to ask employees what support they needed to perform better when teleworking (foreign capital companies: 44%, Japanese companies: 33%). There was another second most common measure used by Japanese companies, which was to visualize work and the number of tasks. 

[Fig. 9] What measures do use take to establish teleworking as a new workstyle? (Multiple answers allowed)
   

6. The largest percentage of companies think that teleworking benefits employees by reducing commuting time and the stress of commuting on overcrowded trains. (Fig. 10)

We asked how teleworking benefited employees, the most common answer was the reduction in commuting time and the stress of commuting on overcrowded trains (foreign capital companies: 96%, Japanese companies: 100%), followed by flexible use of time (foreign capital companies: 67%, Japanese companies: 71%).

[Fig. 10] How does teleworking benefit employees? (Multiple answers allowed)
   

7. Only 6% of companies have closed or reduced the number of offices due to the COVID-19 outbreak. (Fig. 11)

We asked companies whether they had closed or reduced the number of offices since February 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and only 6% did so.

[Fig. 11] Have you closed or reduced the number of offices since February 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak?


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[Outline of the survey]
Survey method: Online survey
Area: Japan
Period: June 29 - July 2, 2020
Number of valid answers: 189
Respondent attribute: Foreign Capital Companies 69% Japanese companies 31%
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▼Download the Document(PDF)
Survey of teleworking by global companies​

About en world Japan (https://www.enworld.com/)
en world Japan is a recruiting firm established in 1999 specializing in global human resources with offices in four countries in the Asia-Pacific region. We specialize in supporting Foreign Capital Companies and global Japanese companies in recruiting human resources for middle to high level positions. We help companies with recruitment and job seekers with career changes from every angle by staffing full-time workers, professional human resources, and executive human resources and providing recruitment process outsourcing solutions.

Contact information for inquiries about this news release
en world Japan K.K.  PR representative
Email : enworld-pr@enworld.com
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