• Jiji


Government ministries and agencies will set up special monthlong campaigns to promote telecommuting by their staffs, it was learned Friday.

The government’s council on pursuing work-life balance and women’s empowerment, made up of vice ministers from all ministries and agencies, agreed at a meeting the same day on the launch of the telecommuting campaigns to promote work-style reform and prepare for a possible second wave of coronavirus infections and other emergencies.

Telework has been widely adopted as a way to reduce infection risks amid the COVID-19 epidemic.

Each government ministry or agency will promote telecommuting for a month between July and September. The bodies are expected to review work processes that are currently required to be done in the office and create plans for improving their computer and telecommunications hardware environments.

The Finance Ministry will conduct online some of their meetings with other ministries and agencies regarding the drafting of the government budget for the next fiscal year.

When the state of emergency over the coronavirus was introduced in April, government bodies introduced teleworking to reduce the number of staff coming to their offices. The council will examine the efficacy of such efforts made during the state of emergency, as well as that of the upcoming teleworking promotion campaigns, and release the results at its next meeting, planned for autumn.

At Friday’s meeting, the council also agreed not to conduct the Yukatsu initiative this summer, in which government workers end their work early in the day to secure more free time in the evenings.

The decision reflected a view that the recent initiative, which had been conducted every summer up to last year, would be unfit for introduction at a time when the spread of telework is making working hours and locations more flexible. For the governments and private entities that were conducting the initiative, the government will leave it up to them to decide whether to continue it this year.

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