Teleworking, a key part of the government's work-style reform initiative, is slowly evolving as a result of efforts to make up for difficulties in communication among colleagues.

One such effort that is drawing attention is the use of avatar robots to smooth out communication between those clocking in from home and those at the office. A number of companies are trying to adopt various reforms under the initiative, including one firm where all staff members work remotely.

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone East Corp., a subsidiary of telecommunications giant Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp., began using robots called OriHime in April 2016 as part of its efforts to promote teleworking, a policy aimed at allowing employees to continue working while raising children or caring for aging parents.