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  • Writer's pictureAdam German

Japan teleworking trend decreases slightly in 2023

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) announced on March 26th the results of the "Telework Population Survey" for 2023.  

 

The survey, conducted via the web in October of 2023 targeting employees, had a sample size of 40,000 respondents. 

 

 Key Takeaways: 


  • Tokyo area maintains over 30% teleworker rate; national trend shows decline. 

 

  • 75.8% of full-time teleworkers work remotely one day or more per week. 

 

  • Average weekly telework days remain steady at 2.3 since 2020. 

 

  • Top reasons for not teleworking were company policy (38.3%) and job requires face time (50.0%). 

 

Among employed workers (those engaged in regular employment by corporations or organizations, including full-time employees, temporary staff, and part-time workers), the proportion of teleworkers was 24.8%, a decrease of 1.6 percentage points from the previous fiscal year's survey.  

 

During the pandemic, developers pulled the trigger on single family home and condo layout changes to include work-from-home spaces, taking away from what is considered living space within the interior. Whether these changes will be beneficial in the long term is dependent on if remote working remains popular. 

Sample Japan Work from Home Renovation

Sample renovated condo that was originally a 2 bedroom pre-covid but since has been renovated down to a 1 bedroom with a walk-in-closet and work from home space. Photo courtesy of Renoveru.


By region, the teleworker rate in the Greater Tokyo Area was 38.1% (a decrease of 1.9 percentage points from the previous year), maintaining over 30% since 2020.  

 

In the Kansai region, it was 24.3% (a decrease of 1.9 percentage points compared to 2022), in the Chubu region, it was 22.0% (an increase of 0.1 percentage points), and in regional urban areas, it was 16.3% (a decrease of 1.2 percentage points), showing a decreasing trend nationwide. 

  

When asked about the frequency of working remotely among employed teleworkers, the proportion of those who telework one day or more per week has been increasing since 2020.  

 

In 2023, the proportion expanded to 75.8% (an increase of 3.4 percentage points compared to 2022).  

 

Additionally, the average number of telework days per week remained unchanged at 2.3 days.  

 

The trend of two or more days of remote work per week has been increasing since 2020, indicating an expansion of hybrid work following the COVID-19 pandemic. 

  

Furthermore, when asked about the reasons for not teleworking in the past year among employed and non-employed teleworkers, the most common reason among employed workers was "not recognized by the company or instructed to commute" (company environment/policies) at 38.3%, while among non-employed workers such as interns, it was "direct face-to-face interaction or on-site work is necessary" (nature of work) at 50.0% of this subset of respondents. 

 

Further Reading: 

MLIT 2023 Teleworking Survey (Japanese only) 

MLIT 2023 Telework Survey JPN
.pdf
Download PDF • 2.52MB

Source: 

R.E. Port News (Japanese only) 

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