Virus breaks the mold for telework in office-bound Japan

first_img‘It’s actually nice’But the spread of the new coronavirus has forced employers and workers to give telework a try in Japan, and Sato for one has been pleasantly surprised.”Unlike I’d expected, it’s actually nice. Much easier than going to the office,” said Sato, who has been working at home since February when the government began asking workers to telework to avoid spreading the new coronavirus.He works for a Tokyo start-up, Phybbit, which offers services to counter digital fraud, and had never before tried working from home.”This experience has completely changed my image of teleworking,” he told AFP in the small office he has set up in the family home he shares with his wife and two children.For a start, it saves him two hours of commuting a day, meaning he has more time with his daughters, whose schools are currently closed.”I can also give them their bath in the evening, something I could never do during the week before because I was never home before 8pm.”Sato’s wife Hitomi takes primary care of their daughters, six-year-old Yurina and four-year-old Hidano and said she has welcomed the helping hand at home.”I’m glad that he’s here, and the girls are happy to spend time with their dad,” she said.The Japanese government has renewed its push for teleworking and off-peak commuting in recent years, hoping to ease the burden on the notoriously congested Tokyo public transport system, particularly ahead of the Olympics.But there hasn’t been much enthusiasm.  Experts say part of the challenge is the social stigma attached to deviating from the “salaryman” stereotype of the suited-up office worker who proves his dedication by spending long hours at his desk.Polls show “the Japanese still have this image that telework isn’t real work because you’re not physically in the office,” said Haruka Kazama, an economist at the Mizuho research institute.That’s a view familiar to Yuki Sato, 35, currently experimenting with teleworking for the first time.”The image of going to the office is very strong. You have to show that you work hard and long hours and that you help your colleagues,” Sato told AFP. The longstanding stereotype of Japan’s office-bound “salaryman” is being tested as companies cautiously embrace working from home in a bid to stem the spread of the coronavirus.Japan’s government has for years been trying to encourage firms to implement “flexible working patterns”, hoping that less demanding office hours will help women return to work after having children and men share more housework and childcare.But uptake has been slow. A survey published last year found around 19 percent of companies offered a telework option, but just 8.5 percent of employees polled had tried it out. ‘Mindsets are changing’ Kunihiko Higa, a professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology who specializes in flexible work options, attributes that to reluctant managers.Many of them “consider teleworking only as a tool for workers,” he told AFP. “In other words, they don’t understand that teleworking, if used in the right way, can be a management strategy tool.”The coronavirus outbreak appears to have achieved what government campaigns could not, forcing the hands of firms who may previously have been reluctant.”The situation has put their backs against the wall. They’ve been forced to give their employees the choice to telework,” said Kazama.A poll carried out at the end of February by the Keidanren business association of nearly 400 major firms found nearly 70 percent had already begun implementing teleworking or were planning to because of the pandemic.The switch hasn’t been universal. Workers still cram onto commuter trains — albeit in smaller numbers — and Japan’s parliament is hardly setting the tone, continuing to hold sessions and ministerial press conferences.And there is no guarantee yet that companies will continue to allow teleworking when the crisis eases.But experts said being forced to try teleworking was likely to leave a lasting impact in Japan, with companies beginning to see working from home as a feasible and even attractive option.”I think mindsets are changing,” said Kazama.center_img Topics : “With telework, we can’t show our goodwill and motivation,” he added.last_img read more

Hazard to make Real Madrid debut this weekend

first_imgFILE PHOTO: Eden Hazard Madrid, Spain | AFP | Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said Friday that big-money summer signing Eden Hazard has been passed fit and will make his long-awaited La Liga debut against Levante on Saturday.“We all want to see Eden,” said Zidane. “There’s a lot of pressure on him, a lot of expectation. But he is ready and that is the most important thing.”Hazard was expected to make his debut in Vigo in the opening round in mid-August after joining Madrid for an initial 100 million euros from Chelsea in June.But the Belgian pulled up with a thigh strain at the club’s training base in Valdebebas and had to sit out the first three weeks of the season during which Real struggled, collecting one win and two draws.Zidane, however, called for patience as Hazard finds his feet again.“We have to go gently,” he said. “He (Hazard) was injured for three weeks, he has been back for a week.“We have seven games in 21 days and we will have to go gently. It will be up to me to keep an eye on his minutes and his playing time, because we need him over a long period, for several matches, not for one.” Share on: WhatsAppcenter_img Hazard’s return is timely for Madrid who also start their Champions League campaign against Paris Saint-Germain next week, especially as Luka Modric was druled out this week with a groin strain.“The season starts now,” said Zidane. “We have seven games in 21 days and I think that’s what we need, anyway, to play, make matches, compete… that’s what players want.”The Frenchman also shrugged off criticism of the team following their indifferent start to the season.“The comments, everything that is said, that’s not going to change,” he said.“We know what we want to change within (the team), we will do everything to do things well. Enough talk, we have perform on the pitch.”last_img read more

Former Florida officer found dead in jail after child sex sentencing

first_imgOn Monday, officials announced that a retired Florida police officer was found dead in his jail cell, less than two weeks after being sentenced to life in prison for sexual offenses against children under the age of 12.According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, 67-year-old James Michael Trejbal was found unresponsive in his isolation cell at the Duval County jail.Homicide detectives stated that there didn’t immediately appear to be signs of foul play.Trejbal pleaded guilty Feb. 27 to sexual battery of a child younger than 12 and two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation, according to court records.Trejbal was a former K9 officer, and he retired from the Jacksonville’s Sheriff’s Office in 1999.He was arrested in January, but authorities were alerted in December of possible sexual offenses from years earlier, and additional victims were discovered as recent sexual offenses were identified, police said. Some of the offenses were against victims younger than 12, investigators said. Some victims involved custodial authority, but the gender and circumstances were not released.last_img read more

Bruh moment of 30th November 2019: Gerard Piqué reveals when an angry SAF kicked…

first_imgImage Courtesy: Getty/ReutersAdvertisement vhtNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vs91sqWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E5njhcs( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) 7popWould you ever consider trying this?😱2pCan your students do this? 🌚52Roller skating! Powered by Firework A young and nascant Gerard Piqué switched his youth academy from La Masia to the Theater of Dreams in 2004, the same year he was promoted to the senior team. However, the present pillar of defense in FC Barcelona and the Spanish national team, it was the spell under Sir Alex Ferguson that made Piqué what he is today. And that includes two bizarre incidents with his former gaffer.Advertisement Image Courtesy: Getty/ReutersStarring in Barça’s brand new documentary series ‘Matchday’, the 32 year old recollected his memories at Old Trafford, and dug up some really strange menaces he got himself into, and that even includes a couple of visit to the cops.The 2010 World Cup winner said: “Some really dark moments in (Manchester). I ended up in the police station more than once. Best not to go into that, it was when I was young. I was there and I wasn’t anybody.”Advertisement Even still, probably the more daring job Piqué did was to send Fergie into a fit of rage!“I rented a house from Sir Alex…And I bought a rabbit and it destroyed the house. It bit all the seats, everything. And when I left, he called me, (he was) raging.” he added.Advertisement And after a hard party on the eve of Christmas, he did it again, so much in fact, Sir Alex injured himself.he continues- “The next day Sir Alex was waiting for us in the dressing room. We got a real scolding. There was an aluminum chair and he kicked it but unfortunately with his shin. You could see him start limping. He’d destroyed his leg. It was spectacular. From there on they stopped with the Christmas party.” Advertisementlast_img read more