Tokyo-based Overflow Inc.’s commercial lease was set to expire in July and founder Yuto Suzuki had made plans to move to a larger property. But as cases of the new coronavirus began to rise in March, the 34-year-old made a drastic decision: He took the startup and its 270 workers completely — and permanently — remote.

Overflow operates an online financial planning service along with a job-matching platform for IT engineers. Most of Suzuki's employees are freelancers who were already teleworking, so a physical office space made little practical and economical sense.

“Think about the millions of yen in upfront deposit and the monthly rent we would have had to pay,” says Suzuki, who now works from the company’s unofficial headquarters — his family’s apartment. “It's safer to eliminate fixed costs, and minimize the financial and health risks.”