Fujitsu Ltd. said Monday it will halve its office space by March 2023 as it pushes for more of its 80,000 domestic employees to work remotely amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The move puts the tech giant in line with major rivals Hitachi Ltd., Toshiba Corp. and Sony Corp. in expanding work-from-home arrangements to reduce the risk of developing COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.
Since February, when the virus was just starting to spread, Fujitsu was able to reduce the number of nonfactory workers commuting to its offices by roughly 80 percent. It will also save money by terminating some rent contracts for office space.
The company says it will set up hub offices in various parts of Japan with defined functions, such as showcasing products, demonstrating cutting-edge tech systems or collaborating with customers, and will also increase satellite office spaces.
“We want to realize a smart working style that is not constrained by time and location,” Fujitsu Corporate Executive Officer Hiroki Hiramatsu, head of global human resources and corporate affairs unit, told an online news conference.
Starting later this month, it will no longer pay for employee commuter passes but will instead offer ¥5,000 per month for employees to set up environments for remote work, including equipment purchases, and to offset communication fees.
Employees living away from home due to domestic transfers can also return to their families and continue to conduct work via business trips and telecommuting, it said.
Likewise, those who need to move due to such reasons as taking care of family or the transfer of a spouse can proceed by keeping the same job at Fujitsu through telecommuting and business trips.
Fujitsu will no longer require employees to commute during their core working hours and will allow them to use their time flexibly according to their workload, role and lifestyle.
Your news needs your support
Since the early stages of the COVID-19 crisis, The Japan Times has been providing free access to crucial news on the impact of the novel coronavirus as well as practical information about how to cope with the pandemic. Please consider subscribing today so we can continue offering you up-to-date, in-depth news about Japan.