Business

Japanese office goods-makers boosting small firms’ teleworking skills

Jiji

Major makers of office equipment are boosting services for Japan’s small businesses to help them promote teleworking during the fight against the new coronavirus.

Ricoh Co. launched in May a service for small and midsize companies to help their employees use black-and-white printers and wireless local area network routers at their homes while ensuring security.

“Work at many small and midsize businesses involves a lot of paperwork,” a Ricoh public relations official said, adding that the firm expects demand for the service from accounting personnel, including those processing invoices.

In late May, Fuji Xerox Co. revamped its service for assisting information security measures.

Enjoying brisk demand for a service allowing employees to access the internal networks of their companies, Fuji Xerox is seeing orders for the service grow around eightfold year on year.

The government and municipalities have created subsidy programs to promote teleworking. Only some 50 percent of small and midsize businesses, however, have introduced teleworking due chiefly to a lack of communications infrastructure, sources familiar with the situation said.

Also, many small companies do not have labor management systems for utilizing such subsidy programs.

Against this background, Konica Minolta Japan Inc. has started a service to help client companies create labor management systems through cooperation with a consulting company, drawing up necessary documents and applying for subsidies on behalf of clients.

Noting that teleworking is expected to be adopted by more small and midsize companies, Konica Minolta Japan aims to offer the service to 1,000 companies a year.

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