New Research

New Ways of Working and New Types of Office
Companies and office workers talk about new types of office from their own perspectives.

Aging population and declining working-age population – the labor shortage concerns made companies in Japan to enhance their initiative to change the way people work. It is possible with new technology, which is allowing people to work any time and any place. "Where we work" is important for companies and office workers alike because offices are the essential part of company's business activities and the place people work affects large parts of work efficiency and worker's work-life balance.

Xymax Real Estate Institute, last year, organized two surveys on how people work. One survey, responded by companies, revealed that companies are starting to provide multiple workspaces for employees. The findings were covered in our report "Metropolitan Areas Office Demand Survey 2016" (available only in Japanese). The other survey, responded by office workers, asked them about teleworking.

This report, based on the result of the two surveys and reflecting the perspectives of both companies and workers, summarizes the latest changes in how people work and the relations between the way of work and place of work including the current situation, challenges and where the trends are headed.

Main Topics
    • Companies are taking initiative to change the way people work. Places other than the main office are becoming more common for office workers: working from home, third place office*, etc.
    • Upsides and downsides of telework** are different for those who never teleworked and those who have teleworked.
    • People tend to work long hours when working from home because it is difficult to separate work and private life.
    • Young workers and those with children are more interested in using third place offices. Having a third place office is an effective way to keep existing employees and attract new employees but it is also one of the ways to achieve better work performance.

* Third place office
It is an office space other than the main office of the company and home of the employees. Third place offices are often managed by a serviced office operator. Examples of such offices include satellite office, serviced office, shared office, mobile work office and coworking space. The contract to use the space may be signed by the employer or by the individual worker.

** Telework
Telework refers to people working at a place other than their main office, with ICT tools (internet, etc.). Telework here does not have to be a whole day; it includes all the short-time use (one minute or more per week). More specific examples are given below.
A) Home (personal space such as study room, family space such as living room, etc.)
B) Café and other places (café, comic café, internet café, library, karaoke booth, hotel, etc.)
C) When commuting or traveling (train, bus, airplane, station, airport, lobby of client's office, etc.)
D) Office space by service provider (individual workers subscribe and pay the charge) (such offices include serviced office, mobile work office, shared office, coworking space, etc.)
E) Office space made available by the company. It is an office other than the company's main office but established or designated by the company. Sometimes it is also referred to as "satellite office". This includes the office that employees used when they are on a business trip and the designated office space if the charge is paid by the company.

In this report, D) Office space by service provider and E) Office space made available by the company are regarded as the third place office.

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