It’s Actually Nice
But the spread of the new coronavirus has forced employers and workers to give telework a try in Japan, and Sato for one has been pleasantly surprised.
“Unlike I’d expected, it’s actually nice. Much easier than going to the office,” said Sato, who has been working at home since February when the government began asking workers to telework to avoid spreading the new coronavirus.
He works for a Tokyo start-up, Phybbit, which offers services to counter digital fraud, and had never before tried working from home.
“This experience has completely changed my image of teleworking,” he told AFP in the small office he has set up in the family home he shares with his wife and two children.
For a start, it saves him two hours of commuting a day, meaning he has more time with his daughters, whose schools are currently closed.
“I can also give them their bath in the evening, something I could never do during the week before because I was never home before 8pm.”
Sato’s wife Hitomi takes primary care of their daughters, six-year-old Yurina and four-year-old Hidano and said she has welcomed the helping hand at home.
“I’m glad that he’s here, and the girls are happy to spend time with their dad,” she said.
The Japanese government has renewed its push for teleworking and off-peak commuting in recent years, hoping to ease the burden on the notoriously congested Tokyo public transport system, particularly ahead of the Olympics.
But there hasn’t been much enthusiasm.