Build a Positive, Local Legacy

Source: ACCJ Journal

Instead of the red light, green light transition we might hope for coming out of the state of emergency, we face a potentially very protracted period of caution. And while this go-slow period will pose new challenges, it may help us avoid squandering the opportunity we’ve been afforded by these unusual circumstances.

Simply flipping a switch and returning to normal would make it all too easy to stumble backwards and lose the forced progress that’s been made in teleworking and workstyle reform. Valuable lessons about maintaining resiliency in a market where business interruptions are a regular and expected occurrence could also fall by the wayside.

It’s up to us as business leaders to ensure that the legacy of Covid-19 is more than just human suffering and economic loss.

Around the world—and especially here in Japan—the corona­virus experience has the potential to spur revolutionary change in the way people live and work.

As companies awaken to the surprise that, unexpectedly—perhaps even improbably—they’ve been able to function without staff coming into the office each day, some may begin to imagine a new way forward.

And as governments begin to recover from the challenge of pro­viding public services from a distance, some may decide that it is preferable to accelerate down the path of digitization rather than retreat.

But if you’re wondering whether businesses in Japan will embrace teleworking in a post-Covid-19 world, now that technology has proven that it’s possible, consider this: during the Covid-19 crisis, ryokan (traditional Japanese inns) and even some restaurants with private rooms have been offering day-use packages for teleworkers who can’t function or find peace and space to work at home. And they’re often sold out.

If this revolution is to succeed, it probably won’t come from simply injecting Western concepts into Japanese businesses. Teleworking has become so ingrained in Western business …continue reading