Yahoo Japan to expand remote work, pay for commutes by plane

Nikkei -- Jan 13
Yahoo Japan will allow its 8,000 employees to work from anywhere in the country and even commute by plane when they need to come to the office.

The expanded remote work program will enable the subsidiary of SoftBank-backed Z Holdings to "hire talented people regardless of where they live," the company said in a statement Wednesday. The program will also "promote diversity by allowing employees to choose the way they work according to their different values," it said.

The search and news website's workers are currently allowed to live anywhere as long as they can arrive at their offices by 11 a.m. by train, bus or shinkansen bullet train. Starting April, the arrival deadline will be scrapped and they are free to take to the skies as well. The Tokyo-based company will continue to pay the commuter benefit of 150,000 yen ($1,305) a month, while doing away with the one-way limit of 6,500 yen a day.

About 90% of the roughly 8,000 employees, including contract and temporary staff, work from home as of Jan. 1. In an employee survey, nine out of 10 respondents said remote work either does not affect productivity or enhances productivity, with some saying that the time they save by not commuting is now spent on learning and self-enrichment.

Yahoo Japan will increase its work-from-home allowance by 1,000 yen to the maximum of 10,000 yen a month to help pay for internet services and other expenses. Tablet devices separate from business-use computers can be lent out to full-time employees as well. To promote interaction among staff, social gatherings will be subsidized up to 5,000 yen per person a month.