40% implement telework, 60% had prior experience. Small and medium-sized enterprises lagged behind.

According to Tokyo Shoko Research’s 18th survey on enterprises affected by the COVID 19* of October 2021, approximately 37% of all companies surveyed in Japan deployed teleworking. (By company size, about 66% of companies with a capital of 100 million JPY or more and about 31% of companies with a capital of less than 100 million JPY deploy teleworking. The survey defines large companies as those with a capital of 100 million JPY or more, and small and medium-sized companies as those with a capital of less than 100 million JPY.)

In terms of telework experience, about 58% of all companies have implemented telework (about 85% of large companies and 53% of small and medium-sized companies).

Source: Tokyo Shoko Research, “The 18th survey on enterprise affected by the COVID 19”

※ Survey date: October 2021, Survey method/object: Internet research panel

Of the companies in Japan that implement telework, only about 34% of all companies have more than 70% of their employees teleworking. (By company size, large companies accounted for about 30%, and small and medium-sized companies about 36%; about the same level.) It appears that telework is applied to only a portion of employees, depending on the type of job, etc. in many companies, and not to all employees.

Increasing number of companies implementing telework

According to the 2021 edition of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications’ White Paper on Information and Communications, the number of teleworking companies increased when the state of emergency was declared, and then decreased.

Thus, the telework implementation rate has been gradually increasing, although it has been fluctuating. As the implementation rate increases teleworking has taken root in some companies, and over the long term the number of companies implementing teleworking appears to be on the rise.

Source: “White Paper on Information and Communications 2021” Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications

What are the Challenges of Telework?

According to a Tokyo Shoko Research survey on telework implementation by small and medium-sized companies*, the majority of companies that do not telework cite the lack of telework-enabled operations (approximately 65%) as a problem, while other issues include poor internal and external communication (approx 35%), low productivity (approx 24%), and the lack of a PC/communications infrastructure (approx 20%). were cited as other issues.

On the other hand, companies implementing telework cited information security (approx 57%), internal communication (approx 56%), PC/communication infrastructure (approx 55%), labor management (approx 43%), and going paperless (approx 37%) as challenges.

※Survey period: May 2021, Target: Small and medium-sized companies (662 companies) in the 23 wards of Tokyo

In Japan, The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) released the Telework Security Guidelines (5th edition) on May 31, 2021, that provides guidelines for security measures regarding information security, which many teleworking companies find to be an issue. Telework companies are required to comply with these guidelines.

However, information security measures did not begin with telework. Implementation of information security measures in the office and on the road is as important as ever.

The main challenge with telework is that there are some tasks that cannot be handled when the work style changes. This is due to the fact that some operations cannot be digitized*. (Of course, this excludes industries and occupations that do not allow telework.) The results of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications’ FY2020 secondary survey (conducted from December 2020 to January 2021) show that there are many issues that can be resolved through digitization.

* See also:How is DX progressing?

What is the Concrete Solution?

One effective solution is digitization of business operations. Digitization of operations means digitizing information and business processes held by the company.

Digitization Implementation Before / After

Many employees, including part-timers, are teleworking at Questetra. However (because of digitization), they do not feel the challenges as described in the previous section. We would like to introduce the efforts of Questetra as an example of a solution to this problem.

Cloud Workflow Questetra BPM Suite is used for all of the following tasks that are considered telework implementation issues.

  • Attendance management
  • Work progress management
  • Work instructions/guidance/evaluation
  • Internal communication (information sharing/recording/retrieval)
  • Application approval
  • Expense reimbursement
  • Approval requests

Etc.

Questetra BPM Suite can create workflow diagrams and systemize them (without requiring code development) for any business process, including those not listed above.

Image of Questetra BPM Suite in use

Questetra also uses cloud services such as Google Workspace, SendGrid, and Box. These cloud services can be linked to Questetra BPM Suite via API for automated processing.

For example, by creating a workflow diagram for step mail a business application for step mail can be created. By having this business application send requests to SendGrid it is also possible to have HTML mail sent automatically.

The automated processing of cloud services not only improves business efficiency, but also solves security issues, as Questetra BPM Suite and cloud services are linked through APIs, eliminating the need for employees to log in directly to cloud services. Therefore, there is no need to worry about ID/password leaks.

In this way, Questetra BPM Suite can solve most of the problems of teleworking. We recommend it to those who want to implement teleworking.

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