Fujitsu aims for new way of working by sending 80,000 workers home

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Japanese employees to embrace digital transformation in working paradigm shift

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6 July 2020 | 0

Fujitsu has announced a new initiative to redefine working styles for its employees that will introduce a “new way of working that promises a more empowering, productive, and creative experience”, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, that aims to “boost innovation and deliver new value to its customers and society”, through the power of digital transformation (DX).

The announcement applies to Fujitsu employees in Japan, and comes under the Work Life Shift campaign that is described not just as a concept of ‘work,’ but according to the company, represents a comprehensive initiative to realise employee wellbeing by shifting pre-existing notions of life and work through digital innovation.

Fujitsu said the concept demonstrates its leadership in driving the digital transformation of working culture and spaces in Japan, where many companies have yet to fully embrace the potential of digital technologies to maximise efficiency and creativity in the workplace.

 

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Asserting itself as a “pioneer in workplace reform through DX [digital transformation]”, Fujitsu says it was one of the first large companies in Japan to actively promote remote working practices, which it introduced companywide in Japan in 2017. For employees in Japan, it says the initiative will mark the end of the “conventional notion of commuting” to and from fixed offices, while also providing a higher degree of autonomy based on the principle of mutual trust.

The initiative will also see the company reduce its office footprint by 50% by the end of the fiscal year 2022. Somewhat controversially, given the current public health situations, Fujitsu said it would introduce a hot desk system where employees are not assigned to a fixed desk.

There is no indication as yet as to whether these measures will be implemented by the company on other territories, such as its Dublin campus in Swords, county Dublin.

A Fujitsu spokes person told TechCentral:

“In Europe, we are focused on a number of hub locations that provide a range of working environments including collaborative and creative spaces with enhanced technology and fewer traditional desks.

“During the pandemic, the vast majority of our employees have been able to work from home effectively. Like many businesses, we anticipate that as we adjust to the new normal, many of our team will continue to have greater flexibility in the way they work and where they work.

“This increased individual autonomy in working, combined with dynamic office environments that support a variety of work styles, will enhance individual performance, productivity and employee experience.”

The Work Life Shift initiative relies on three core principles, says the statement, Smart Working, Borderless Office, and Culture Change.

Around 80,000 Japan-based employees of the Fujitsu Group will begin to work primarily on a remote-basis, allowing them to “flexibly use their time according to the contents of their work, business roles, and lifestyle”. Fujitsu said anticipates that this will not only improve productivity but also mark a fundamental shift away from the rigid, traditional concept of commuting leading to enhanced work-life balance.

The Borderless Office will “reassessment of the ideal office environment”. The company will shift away from the conventional practice of working from a fixed office towards a “seamless system” allowing  employees to choose where they want to work, including from home, hub, or satellite offices, depending on the type of work they do.

The initiative aims to transform corporate culture, and will require “a new style of management” based on employee autonomy and trust “to maximise team performance and improve productivity”.

Fujitsu said it will continue to seek ways to optimise working styles by “continuously listening to the voices of its employees” on the “dramatic shift toward physically separated working spaces”, and by leveraging a digital platform that “visualises and analyses working conditions”.

The Fujitsu initiative comes after tech giants Google and Facebook announced they would allow home and remote working until the end of the year, while Twitter has given staff the option to work from home indefinitely, if they wish.

TechCentral Reporters

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