Regarding the June 28 article “Daylight saving: Is it finally time to convert?“: While a conversion to daylight saving time would have some advantages, what is really needed is an aggressive push to promote telecommuting and flex-time in Tokyo, thus giving both employees and employers more options on how and where to spread out the work over the business day.
Telecommuting is way overdue for serious scrutiny. These days, it’s a very rare home that does not have a functioning Internet connection, and it’s a very rare computer that is not equipped with all the basic software that is needed to perform average office chores. Personally, I feel I am at my best and most productive in the summer between the hours of 5 a.m. and 2 p.m. So, if I am a telecommuter, I can be at my desk at home during that time, working productively, instead of just marking time until I can clock in at a downtown office.
As for flex-time, by adopting well thought-out policies, companies can spread out their electrical use over the entire working day, thus decreasing electrical use during peak periods, and giving their employees a chance to schedule their work at their most productive times.
Ideally, only those people who absolutely must be at their office during the core periods should be there. Others would be free to choose their own hours, in consultation with their company, of course. As an added bonus, they can avoid commuting at the most stifling rush hour periods.
These solutions are not appropriate for all jobs or companies, but encouraging telecommuting and flex-time, or a combination of both, would see a much wider selection of options become available. I’d like to see some serious discussion about this.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.
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