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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Some Japanese Workers Work From Home On July 24


That has to be the most boring headline I've ever written. But still... WTF? 

Japanese companies wanted workers to stay home on Monday giving them a so-called long-weekend… and it was accepted by 100% of the people?

Okay… I know and you know that not since religion became formalized and farming became a thing and prostitution… well… you know… I suppose religious, what with the missionary position…  rare is the day when there’s a day when everybody can take a day off from work.

Transit operators, taxi drivers, convenience store workers, food providers, spiritual guidance folk (includes priests and prostitutes)… someone is always working when everyone else isn’t.

On Monday, June 24, 2017, the Japanese government “encouraged” companies to allow employees to work from home for the day.

I get why it’s not popular: Some jobs can’t be done from home… such as those who work in an automobile manufacturing facility; or as an elevator in a high-end department store, or as a prostitute that only does outcalls (to your house)…. heck, even I’m not allowed to work from home as a writer—possibly for fear that I would just sit on my butt and play Skyrim V or watch TV all day long.

That would never happen, of course, as I’m sure I would have to get up to make lunch or go to the

Japan’s plan was to prepare companies for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo by gently insisting companies provide its workers with the opportunity to work from home on July 24 of 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.

The idea behind this is to help avoid/reduce population congestion… in a bid to ensure the expected 920,000 visitors to the Tokyo area will be able to get to the assorted sports venues in a less-crowded manner… meaning they might actually be able to get to the event in time… provided they get some help from the new train station robot system currently being worked on by JR East (see HERE). 

Apparently 900+ companies participated in the event—which must have sucked for every other employee of a non-participating company… but apparently, while many employees did stay home, it was still a guesstimated less than 20% number.

Since it was just 900+ companies… and only in Tokyo… and not everyone was willing to work from home, needless to say the impact it had on those still commuting was… well… negligible.  

Hmm… the image above is from and its take on the story. What’s wrong with the photo? It implies to show that the Tokyo subways station is busy on July 24, 2017. BUT… It’s July… and everyone is wearing coats that are far too warm for July in Tokyo.

I’ll assume it’s a stock image.

Here’s one from Bloomberg correctly showing men in short sleeved dress shirts… you keep those rocking until Labor day… then you are supposed to switch to long-sleeved shirts.

I never did, because it’s not a rule… just an accepted practice. I dressed in a respectful manner (IE a dress shirt, pants and tie), but I saw no need to follow the sheeple re: sleeve length or shirt color.

I believe I re-introduced Japan to teal back in 1992 (same with Toronto… though Montreal was again ahead of the Canadian curve.) 

Anyhow… Bloomberg has a proper photo:

Passengers board a train at Tokyu Toyoko Line’s Shibuya Station. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg
Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs says it may take approximately one month before results can be fashioned from the collected data on how many people took part

According to Twitter chatter, some people say the trains were less crowded, others saying meh, couldn’t tell… which again is based on, I believe, just which 900+ businesses took part in the event, and how many people in total from each company stayed away… depending on where and when they boarded and exited a train, different train density results could be observed. 

According to a report from the Ministry of International Affairs and Communications (a second Ministry is involved? That’s a bureaucracy. I suppose this one is because the program was initially set up for the Olympics?)…  in 2015, about 16 per cent of Japanese companies allowed its employees to work from home at least some of the time (not just on July 24).

Apparently 4 percent of workers telecommuted once a week.

Not bad… but does it say how many of them worked MORE than five days a week? Right. I wish I had an answer. I wonder if the Ministry (take your pick) has an answer.

Japan prime minister Abe Shinzo (surname first) has gone on record as saying he would like to raise the number of workers in Japan who telecommute one day a week to 10% by 2020.

Hmmm… according to a recent Gallup poll, 43% of employed Americans said they already spend at least some time working remotely.

I’m calling bullshirt on using that data… it says they spend some time working remotely… it  does NOT say they work remotely RATHER than working at the office.

I’m saying of those 43% of employed Americans who said in the Gallup Poll that they spend at least some time working remotely… MOST are doing work they couldn’t finish at the office.

There’s NO WAY IN HELL 43% of American workers get to spend time working at home INSTEAD of working at the office. NO FRICKIN’ WAY!

Anyhow… I’m unsure how one day a year with a voluntary base of companies offering its employees to voluntarily work from home is preparing anyone for the expected crowds of the Tokyo Olympics… but if it affords workers to work from home every now and again, I applaud the initiative.

Andrew Joseph

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