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Coronavirus: Fujitsu announces permanent work-from-home plan

The logo of Japanese multinational information technology equipment and services company Fujitsu is seen on a skyscraper in Munich.

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Technology firm Fujitsu has said it will halve its office space in Japan as it adapts to the “new normal” of the coronavirus pandemic.

It says the “Work Life Shift” programme will offer unprecedented flexibility to its 80,000 workers in the country.

Staff will be able to work flexible hours, and working from home will be standard wherever possible.

The announcement follows a similar announcement in May from social media platform Twitter.

In a statement sent to the BBC, Fujitsu said it “will introduce a new way of working that promises a more empowering, productive, and creative experience for employees that will boost innovation and deliver new value to its customers and society”.

Under the plan employees will “begin to primarily work on a remote-basis to achieve a working style that allows them to flexibly use their time according to the contents of their work, business roles, and lifestyle”.

The company also said that the programme will allow staff to choose where they work, whether that is from home, a major corporate hub or a satellite office.

Fujitsu believes that that the increased autonomy offered to its workers will help to improve the performance of teams and increase productivity.

In May, Twitter told staff that they can work from home “forever” if they wish as the company looks towards the future after the coronavirus pandemic.

The social media platform said: “The past few months have proven we can make that work. So if our employees are in a role and situation that enables them to work from home and they want to continue to do so forever, we will make that happen.”

At the time Sree Sreenivasan, a Loeb Visiting Professor of Digital Innovation at the Stony Brook University School of Journalism, said it was “era-defining news”.

“Some people may not take this seriously as it’s Twitter but we can learn a lot from Silicon Valley about workplace flexibility. There has been a mentality that working from home was stealing from the boss and facetime in the office was more important,” he added.

Earlier that month Google and Facebook said their staff can work from home until the end of the year.

Google originally said it would keep its work from home policy until 1 June, but extended it for seven more months.

Its announcement coincided with a similar move by social media giant Facebook.

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