New Research

Greater Tokyo Office Worker Survey 2018
Capturing changes in workers’ workstyles and values

Companies are accelerating their efforts in workstyle reforms and promoting diverse ways of working that are not bound by time and place. Such new workstyles have become an important topic not only in companies’ management strategies but also for office workers in terms of productivity improvement and work-life balance.

Against this backdrop, Xymax Real Estate Institute has been conducting questionnaire surveys to capture changes in workstyles and the workplace from the perspectives of both companies and office workers, and has published the results. We have conducted surveys of companies since autumn 2016, while our first questionnaire survey of office workers on telework was carried out in the end of 2016, this being the second. This periodic report, based on the results of the questionnaire, summarizes the latest trend of office workers’ actual workstyles and values.

Summary of Survey Results
  1. Actual state of telework
    • 8.1% of respondents teleworked for any length of time over a week. However, we found that there was a disparity between respondents’ awareness that they were teleworking and the actual teleworking ratio (18.3%).
    • Teleworkers tended to be male aged 20–24 (21.4%) and 40–44 (13.6%), and female aged 35–39 (13.3%). The most common industries of teleworkers were information & communication (13.6%) and manufacturing (12.5%), while the most common job categories were specialized technical work such as R&D, design, and system engineering (13.4%) and sales (13.2%).
    • The most popular place where teleworkers usually teleworked was home (81.8%). Almost all places, including office space made available by the company (21.0%), saw a rise in the percentage compared to the previous survey, indicating that options of teleworking places are increasing.
    • 44.6% of teleworkers chose only one place as the place where they usually teleworked, while 55.4% teleworked at two places or more.
    • In terms of when workers teleworked, “on the date and time arranged in advance” (58.1%) rose sharply from the previous survey (37.3%), indicating that scheduled teleworking is increasing.
    • There was a gap between the expectations and concerns in telework of those who did not telework and the actual upsides and downsides experienced by those who teleworked. Those who teleworked experienced upsides more strongly than expected in items such as “concentration on work” and “improved work outcomes,” while not many of those who teleworked actually experienced downsides in items that tend to be viewed as concerns by those who did not telework, such as “less communication in work” and “difficulty for subordinates to report, contact and consult with boss.”
  2. Workplace and satisfaction
    • Satisfaction in the current workplace environment of those who teleworked (59.4%) was nearly double that of those who did not telework (31.2%).
    • When presenting several conditions related to the tangible and intangibles aspects of workplace environment and asking respondents how much each of them applied to their environment, the group of respondents with a greater satisfaction in the overall workplace chose “applies” or “somewhat applies” more than the group of respondents with smaller satisfaction for all of the conditions. This indicates that the conditions presented here (especially in the intangible aspects) may have had an influence on the satisfaction of workers.
  3. The needs for telework
    • 44.6% of respondents had positive intentions toward teleworking in the future. Intentions were especially high (more than 50%) among men aged 20–24 and 40–44 and women aged 25–29 and 30–34. In terms of child status, the intention was the highest among those with child(ren) in the lower grades of elementary school or younger (54.1%).
    • The place where respondents wanted to telework the most in the future was home (90.6%). Intentions to use office space made available by the company (16.9%) and office space by service provider (9.6%) also increased slightly from the previous survey.
    • Top impediments to promoting telework were “lack of system that allows telework” (54.6%) and “lack of work-from-home system” (35.1%). Teleworkers particularly felt impediments in the places for telework, such as “lack of/few places for telework apart from home (third place office)” (22.3%) and “own burden of costs for using office space by service providers” (16.2%).
    • In terms of what was important when using a third place office, the most popular reply was “proximity to home” (71.7%; “important” and “somewhat important” combined). “Quietness” (63.9%) and “security” (63.6%) also ranked high.
    • As for intentions to use the five types of third place offices ((1) touch-down type; (2) project room type; (3) shared satellite type; (4) office with support features for workers with small children; (5) co-working type), both men and female aged 25–29 and 30–34 had high intentions to use offices with support features for workers with small children, with female respondents in particular showing greater interest than in other types. The intentions to use the other four types tended to be higher among younger age groups.
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