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Yahoo Japan will pay for staff flights to the office under new remote working policy

Yahoo's 8,000 employees are allowed to work remotely from anywhere in a bid to improve well-being across the company

A plane flying in the sky above Cherry Blossom trees in Japan

Yahoo Japan is to let its 8,000 employees work remotely on a permanent basis, regardless of where they live in the country, and will pay for their travel if they are required to come into the office.

The programme, which will include air travel, takes effect on 1st April, the company said in a statement, according to The Japanese Times.

Yahoo staff in Japan have worked under an "office anywhere" remote working policy since 2014, though prior to the pandemic the company had capped these remote working days to five per month per employee.

Yahoo Japan president Kentaro Kawabe tweeted that around 90% of the company's employees are now working remotely and that an overwhelming majority of them have said their performance has either been maintained or improved from home.

"So we're allowing Yahoo employees to live anywhere in Japan," Kawabe tweeted, as seen by The Japanese Times. "This doesn't mean we're denying the benefits of the office - you'll be able to fly in when needed."

To finance travel within its expanded remote working model, Yahoo has set a commuting budget of ¥150,000 (around £960) per month per worker. The company hopes the measure will boost morale and well-being, and will also arrange social gatherings, subsidised by ¥5,000 (£32) per employee a month.

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Yahoo's remote working policies highlight a growing trend across the country where employee 'well-being' appears to becoming more of a priority. Many of Japan's businesses embraced flexible work arrangements during the pandemic, despite previously having a culture that prided itself for working long hours in offices.

In 2020, Fujitsu announced it would halve its office space and allow its 80,000 employees to permanently work from home. Just last week, Panasonic Japan revealed plans for a four day week, which it aims to introduce in 2023.

"The well-being of our employees is a priority and it is important that we communicate and promote an understanding of this purpose and the significance of this system from the management team to organisation managers and all employees," a Panasonic spokesperson said. "We are prepared to take time for all necessary dialogue to take place and don't foresee its implementation until April 2023 at the earliest."

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