The pandemic led thousands of Japanese companies to redefine the office’s role. Now with remote work being mainstream, offices are no longer the pillar of companies. However, for Japanese companies, these spaces are perfect for building communication hubs that strengthen networking and collaboration.
While virtual events and water coolers are great strategies to boost connection, for some teams, in-person interactions are necessary. According to several Japanese companies, while they support remote work, they believe this type of interaction shouldn’t be forgotten.
Japanese Companies Are Transforming Office Spaces
The onsite, hybrid, and remote dilemma still continues as major leaders like Elon Musk believe the traditional onsite way is the way to go. Still, others think it´s time for a change, especially when there´s a high demand for remote work.
Freee, a cloud-based accounting software provider, is the perfect example. While they believe remote work is the present and future, they know that onsite is always a good idea when it comes to communication and collaboration.
Yuka Tsujimoto, chief culture officer, mentioned that they have experimented with many tools to improve communication. The company switched to a fully remote operation in 2020; however, despite using tools and strategies to increase collaboration, they realized that having some onsite activities wasn´t a bad idea.
Freee moved to a new office to strengthen networks among employees and help new employees feel comfortable and welcomed. Non-engineer employees are required to go to the office three times a week, and engineers only once a week.
However, the office space is not the same as it was pre-pandemic. The company knew it would be challenging to encourage employees to go back, so they created a space that actually motivates them.
The chief culture office said, “we wanted to create an office where they think it’s better than working from home,”
They now have an artificial lawn with a camping tent, hammocks, and foldable chairs. A beach-like area and also s traditional dagashiya snack shop, where employees can eat for free.
The new office also has a spacious kitchen with high-end cooking utensils and equipment, with the idea being that workers can cook and eat meals together, encouraging fostering communication.
Other Japanese companies are also transforming their office spaces into collaboration hubs. Gree, a Tokyo-based entertainment provider, transformed their office into art spaces with murals decorating over 1000 walls.