Telework in the 21st Century
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Telework in the 21st Century

An Evolutionary Perspective

Edited by Jon C. Messenger

Technological developments have enabled a dramatic expansion and also an evolution of telework, broadly defined as using ICTs to perform work from outside of an employer’s premises. This volume offers a new conceptual framework explaining the evolution of telework over four decades. It reviews national experiences from Argentina, Brazil, India, Japan, the United States, and ten EU countries regarding the development of telework, its various forms and effects. It also analyses large-scale surveys and company case studies regarding the incidence of telework and its effects on working time, work-life balance, occupational health and well-being, and individual and organizational performance.
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Chapter 2: Telework and its effects in Japan

Akio Sato


A report from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism (of Japan estimates that, in 2016, 14.2 per cent of workers in Japan engage in telework, including mobile telework. The government is eager to promote teleworking as one of the measures by which to increase the size of the workforce while improving work–life balance. Several enterprises, led by some of the largest in Japan, have succeeded in supporting employees – especially women with children – by introducing telework systems; and through these systems, workers have secured employment without imposing an adverse effect on their business career. However, company or organizational rules frequently do not allow the majority of their employed teleworkers to engage regularly in telework. Many employed workers who are not formally allowed by their employers to telework continue working on tasks that cannot be finished within regular work hours by teleworking informally. Therefore, many such ‘informal teleworkers’ frequently engage in holiday or late-night teleworking, and the practice tends to lengthen their work hours.

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