Japan Tobacco International is offering its worldwide staff the option to spend more time away from the workplace, the latest multinational to adopt a more flexible approach in the wake of the pandemic.
The Geneva-based company’s employees will be able to work as much as half of their time remotely each month, the maker of Camel and Winston cigarettes said in a statement Thursday. Other measures include being able to work as many as 10 days from abroad.
"As far as JTI is concerned, work is an activity, not a place or time,” said Christiane Bisanzio, the company’s vice president of diversity and inclusion.
JTI joins the growing ranks of companies rethinking work arrangements after many employees successfully spent more than a year doing their jobs from home — and as some resist returning to the office full time. A number of banks like Credit Suisse Group AG are allowing remote work at least part of the week, while Nokia Oyj is redesigning offices to adapt to a new flexible job culture.
JTI rolled out its new policy last week. The company, which has 40,000 employees, will also experiment with giving staff the option of working a four-day week in some locations in the first quarter of next year. That means choosing between working an eight-hour day five days a week or 10 daily hours spread over four days, according to a spokesman.
The tobacco company, which is owned by Japan’s JT Group, is also looking at possible solutions for flexible work for factory workers and sales teams in markets where it has a large footprint from 2022. Among its brands, JTI sells Camel cigarettes outside the U.S.
"Performance and outcomes are what matter here, not hours spent in the office,” said Howard Parks, senior vice president of people and culture.