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News » Hybrid work rises, teleworking declines in Japan

Hybrid work rises, teleworking declines in Japan

TOKYO, JAPAN — The latest government survey has revealed a decline in teleworking rates across Japan, while hybrid work models combining remote and office-based work are gaining momentum. This shift comes as the COVID-19 pandemic wanes and the country adapts to a post-pandemic work landscape.

According to the survey conducted by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in October and November 2023, 16.1% of over 36,000 respondents worked from home or outside the office in the past year, a 2.7 percentage point drop from the previous survey. 

The teleworking ratio peaked at 21.4% in fiscal 2021 but has since declined to 18.8% the following year.

Hybrid work gaining traction in Japan

While full-time remote work has decreased, the survey revealed a growing trend towards hybrid work arrangements. 

The percentage of employees working remotely for just one day a week rose to 13.5% from 9.5% during the peak of the pandemic. Those who work remotely two days a week came to 15.8% from 14.4%.

The proportion of those working remotely five to seven days a week has decreased to 28.7% from a previous 34.7%.

Meanwhile, a November 2023 survey of major Japanese job information company Gakujo Co. revealed that 61.8% of graduating students prefer going into the office over teleworking in 2024. 

Regional disparities in remote work adoption 

The survey also highlighted regional disparities in remote work adoption. The greater Tokyo area maintained a 28% teleworking rate, followed by 15% in the Kinki region (Osaka and Kyoto), 13.3% in the Chukyo region (Nagoya), and 8.8% in other regional cities.

As Japan navigates the post-pandemic era, the workplace landscape is evolving. Hybrid work models are gaining traction as companies and employees seek a balance between remote flexibility and in-person collaboration.

Hybrid work wins over remote among Americans

On a related note, employees in the United States prefer hybrid over fully remote work arrangements for the first time since the pandemic. 

According to a Morning Consult survey of 6,625 U.S. adults, including 3,389 employed individuals, 29% said they preferred a hybrid model in 2024, up from 25% the previous year. Meanwhile, the percentage favoring full remote work dropped from 27% to 23%.

Women’s labor force participation in the U.S. has also surpassed pre-pandemic levels, reaching 73% by the end of 2023, up from 70% in 2020, due to hybrid work arrangements.

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