Toyota Motor Corp. will expand its teleworking program to cover not only all office workers but some professionals, starting in September, company officials said Thursday.

With the move, the leading Japanese automaker aims to reduce coronavirus infection risks, make work more flexible and diversified, and improve productivity.

Toyota introduced the work-from-home program in 2002 exclusively for career-track employees to support their child rearing. The program was specially expanded at the end of March this year in response to the spread of the novel coronavirus outbreak, having office workers at its headquarters in Toyota, Aichi Prefecture, and offices in Tokyo and Nagoya work from home.

The special measure ended May 31, but the company has since kept promoting teleworking.

According to the officials, all career-track workers and clerical workers will not have to commute from September.

In addition, Toyota plans to allow remote working by certain skilled workers. But the company has yet to determine who will specifically be covered by the program, because such professionals vary from product development engineers to test drivers and factory workers.

Further study needs to be done on teleworking demand and challenges, the officials noted.

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