The Japanese Are Trying a Work From Home Program to Prepare for Tokyo 2020 Olympics
They call it "Teleworkdays."
“Telework” is a flexible workstyle, in terms of workplace and working hours, utilizing information and communication technologies. It is a hot topic in Japan because it is considered as one way to resolve social problems Japan is facing nowadays, such as enabling work-life balance, lack of manpower, and the stagnation in the rural economy.
Since 2017, ministries of the Japanese government (Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications as a head) have worked together to carry out a program throughout Tokyo called “TELEWORKDAYS.” It is targeted for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics—especially the opening ceremony day on July 24, 2020—in order to avoid congestion. In 2017, 950 groups with 63,000 people participated for just one day on 24 July, and 1,682 groups with more than 300,000 people participated in 2018 for 5 days from July 23 to 27. The ministry says that it had an effect of reducing 400,000 people commuting to central Tokyo in 2018. This fact might help you to measure the impact: 9,690,000 people work and study in central Tokyo every day. Among those, 2,910,000 people come from other surrounding prefectures (from Statistics of Japan, as of 2015).
This year, the period is set from July 22 to September 6 as TELEWORKDAYS 2019. During the period, the ministry is focusing especially on 2 periods: one from July 22 to August 2, and the other from August 19 to 30. The goal is to include 3,000 groups and 600,000 people. There are many ways to join these telework movements, for example, working in third place offices, avoiding rush hours, work on flextime, or doing workations.
It is a social experiment implemented in Tokyo. If Japan succeeds in the movement, maybe it will be done in more areas.
(26 June 2019)