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Survey on changes in the work styles of professional contract employees during the COVID-19 crisis

Posted by en world Japan

11 months ago

Approx. 80% of respondents experienced a change in work styles including working from home. Approx. 30% have more flexible working hours, such as flextime

ー en world Japan  The survey on changes in working styles of professional contract employees in the COVID-19 crisis ー

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 on professional temporary workers, and 256 people * answered.
*Including people currently working with staffing agencies other than en world Japan

Summary of Survey results

■ 37% of respondents are working completely from home, and 42% are working partly from home and partly in the office.
■ 86% of respondents want to continue working from home for reasons other than to reduce exposure to COVID-19.
■ 60% experienced a change in work style due to COVID-19, and 30% have more flexible working hours. 

Comment on Results

James Kikuchi, Director - Contract Professionals/Staffing Division

COVID-19 has seen companies in Japan having to adapt with most temporary workers working remotely or from home becoming the "new norm" since April this year. Many companies have had to overcome challenges related to remote infrastructure, IT security, information security and remote working policies in order to ensure that workers have the necessary tools and capability to perform their work from outside of the office. While some companies were able to adapt quickly and seamlessly set up remote working environments, other companies have struggled to transition all of their tasks across to remote work. To increase productivity of their temporary workers, a lot of companies have tried to enhance the remote working environment of their workers by providing additional equipment such as monitors for staff to use with their laptops. As companies have slowly had staff return to the workplace they have tried to adapt different hybrid models including working on alternate days and increased flex-time to avoid commuting during rush hours. 

Some companies have focused on implementing more permanent remote work solutions which have been positively received by staff. We have seen a transition in the mindset of temporary workers with a clear emphasis placed on applying to companies that are proactively transforming their working style and making the necessary investment in technology to enable both full time and temporary staff to enjoy a productive working experience.

● What is professional staffing?https://www.enworld.com/en/employers/professional-contract-employment
Professional staffing is a service that dispatches professional human resources with excellent skills and experience in their areas of expertise who can hit the ground running. Contract Professionals of en world Japan will dispatch specialists for a variety of types of work that can include accounting, HR, recruitment, legal affairs, marketing, engineering, logistics, and secretarial. Contract Professionals can respond swiftly to every need, including short-time needs for e-commerce expansion, DX promotion projects, and new product promotion by companies, the need for special skills required at a high level in situations like M&A integration, and urgent needs to cover for employees going on childcare leave and managers leaving their job suddenly.

● What is Contract Professionals?

This department is en world Japan’s division that specializes in supporting employment of non-permanent workers (temporary workers, contract workers, outsourced workers, advisors, outside board members, and others). Contract Professionals will introduce international-minded, bilingual human resources of the most appropriate contract types with excellent professional skills mainly to foreign capital and global Japanese companies. 

Details of survey results

1. 37% of respondents are working completely from home, and 42% are working partly from home and partly in the office. (Figs. 1, Fig. 2)

We asked professional contract workers about their work style. 37% are working from home, and 42% are working partly from home and partly in the office. Only 21% are working in the office. 95% of those working from home said that they work from home because of COVID-19.

[Fig. 1] What is your current work style?



[Fig. 2] Please respond if you work from home or partly from home and partly in the office. Do you work from home because of COVID-19? 




2. 86% of respondents want to continue working from home for reasons other than to reduce exposure to COVID-19. (Fig. 3)

We asked respondents who were working from home or partly from home and partly in the office whether they wanted to continue working from home, and 86% answered in the affirmative (want to do so very much and somewhat want to do so). We asked why, and there were several reasons other than to reduce exposure to COVID-19. Some of the comments are shown below.


[Fig. 3] Please respond if you are working from home or partly from home and partly in the office. Do you want to continue working from home?



▶Reasons why respondents chose “Want to continue very much” or “Somewhat want to continue”
・I can perform almost all of my work without being in the office. (HR. recruitment/30s) 
・Because I’m busy with childrearing and caregiving. (Marketing, planning, PR/40s) 
・It reduces stress. (Accounting, financial affairs, finance/40s)
・I can focus on my work. When I’m in the office, people ask me a lot of questions and interrupt me. 
    (Accounting, financial affairs, finance/50s)
・It gives me more companies to choose from because I don’t have to think about commuting time.    
   (Interpretation, translation/50s)
・Because I’m afraid of being infected with COVID-19.  (Sales administration, administration/50s)
・Reduction of commuting time and utilization of the time I save.
 (Engineering, engineer/ 60 or older)

▶Reasons why respondents chose “Somewhat do not want to continue” or “Do not want to continue at all”
・I don’t have devices or the environment required to work from home,  (Secretary/30s) 
・It is difficult to stay motivated. (Engineering, engineer/30s) 
・I want to communicate with people directly. (Marketing, planning, PR/40s)
・I want to work while communicating with other people in the workplace. 
   (Specialist in the finance-related field/50s) 
・I feel stressed from staying home all day. I can’t separate work and my personal life.
   (Marketing, planning, PR/50s)

3. 60% experienced a change in work style due to COVID-19, and 30% have more flexible working hours. (Fig. 4, Fig.5)

We asked whether there had been a change in work styles and conditions, and 61% answered in the affirmative (respondents earning 2,500 yen or more per hour: 59%, respondents earning less than 2,500 yen per hour: 62%). The most common change in work style was working from home (respondents earning 2,500 yen or more per hour: 88%, respondents earning less than 2,500 yen per hour: 77%), followed by more flexible working hours (such as the introduction of a flextime system) (respondents earning 2,500 yen or more per hour: 27%, respondents earning less than 2,500 yen per hour: 32%). Work styles that are more flexible in terms of place of work and hours are being introduced for contract employees. 

The percentage of respondents earning less than 2,500 yen per hour who chose “reduced working days/hours” was higher than that of respondents earning 2,500 yen or more per hour by 7 points (respondents earning 2,500 yen or more per hour: 7%, respondents earning less than 2,500 yen per hour: 14%) while the percentage of respondents earning 2,500 yen or more per hour who chose “increased working days/hours” was higher than that of respondents earning less than 2,500 yen per hour by 10 points (respondents earning 2,500 yen or more per hour: 17%, respondents earning less than 2,500 yen per hour: 7%). There was a difference in how their work styles changed.

[Fig. 4] Was there any change in work styles or conditions due to COVID-19? (Multiple answers allowed)




[Fig. 5] Please respond if there was a change in work style because of COVID-19. What changes have you experienced? (Multiple answers allowed)



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[Outline of the survey]
Survey method: Online survey
Area: Japan
Period: October 2 - October 8, 2020
Number of valid answers: 256
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▼Download the Document(PDF)
20201202_Survey on changes in the work styles of professional contract employees during the COVID-19 crisis


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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