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2022 Rewind: From stadium offices to Tokyo exodus, pandemic transforms Japan's work style

Japan saw ongoing work style changes in 2022 as companies ramped up efforts to promote telework, leading industries to move out of Tokyo. Meanwhile, parents working from home faced difficulties looking after their children as facilities temporary closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, and men came under scrutiny on their contribution to housework -- or lack thereof. Check out these 10 articles and find out about workstyle changes and challenges in Japan last year.

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    A man is seen relaxing in a bed situated inside a bookshelf at Book and Bed Tokyo in the capital's Shinjuku Ward on Nov. 18, 2021. (Mainichi/Kentaro Ikushima)

    <<Tokyo 'book and bed' hostel enjoys new popularity as telework haven>>

    TOKYO -- Presenting ample opportunities for leisurely reading in the breaks between work, Book and Bed Tokyo's Shinjuku branch, with its rows and rows of bookshelves with beds nestled in them, has become a prized spot for the capital's teleworkers. Full story.

    This image provided by the Yokohama DeNA BayStars shows a person working in a private box at Yokohama Stadium.

    <<Yokohama BayStars baseball team offers home stadium's private boxes to teleworkers>>

    YOKOHAMA -- The Yokohama DeNA BayStars pro baseball team here has begun to offer its home stadium's private boxes to teleworkers. Full story.

    A person with a disability carefully assembles the notebooks at One Step in Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture, on Sept. 22, 2021. (Mainichi/Takafumi Watanabe)

    <<People with disabilities in Japan making super slender notebooks for the teleworking set>>

    OKAZAKI, Aichi -- A line of long, super slender notebooks made by people with disabilities could be the perfect accessory for Japan's laptop-toting teleworkers. Full story.

    A person works remotely in this photo taken in Tokyo. (Mainichi)

    <<Rise of remote work pushes 44% of major Japanese firms to rethink employee transfers>>

    TOKYO -- Some 44% of major companies in Japan surveyed by the Mainichi Shimbun have revamped or are considering reviewing their employee transfer systems. Full story.

    A handout from a day care center stating that the facility may be temporarily closed if a close contact tests positive is seen on Jan. 28, 2022. (Mainichi/Yuki Noguchi)

    <<The pandemonium of working at home as COVID forces day care, school closures in Japan>>

    OSAKA -- Amid the coronavirus outbreak, this Mainichi Shimbun reporter and mother of two was barely able to go to work while looking after my children when the outbreak resulted in the temporary closure of facilities and classes. Trying to work remotely while soothing a crying child resulted in pandemonium -- a situation in which many other parents and guardians have recently found themselves. Full story.

    A screenshot from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government's "Team housework and child care" website is seen.

    <<Tokyo men's time on housework, child care unchanged amid pandemic, remote work: study>>

    TOKYO -- The time men spend on housework and child care has not changed much since before and after the coronavirus outbreak in Japan, even though working from home became more common among workers, a survey by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government has shown. Full story.

    Near JR Sakudaira Station in the Nagano Prefecture city of Saku, apartment buildings and commercial buildings are under construction, as seen on Jan. 27, 2022. (Mainichi/Mari Sakane)

    <<Generous financial aid and telework accelerate migration out of Tokyo sparked by COVID>>

    Internal migration statistics for 2021 released by Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications on Jan. 28 showed that people moving into Tokyo outnumbered those leaving by 5,433 last year, down 25,692 from the previous year -- the smallest margin since the current aggregation method including foreign nationals began in 2014. Full story.

    The logo of Yahoo Japan Corp. is seen in this file photo. (Mainichi)

    <<Yahoo Japan to let employees live anywhere in country amid spread of teleworking>>

    TOKYO -- Yahoo Japan Corp. will allow its employees to live anywhere in the country starting April 1, as some 90% of them are already working remotely. Full story.

    Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. employees in Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture, communicate online with those in the city of Kyoto, to confirm procedures to prepare for a large-scale disaster, on Oct. 28, 2022. (Mainichi/Ryuko Tadokoro)

    <<More Japan firms moving base to Gunma Pref. citing less disasters, convenience>>

    MAEBASHI -- Numerous companies in Japan are moving the functions of their headquarters or their base facilities to Gunma Prefecture, northwest of Tokyo, presumably because the area has fewer natural disasters and has a convenient transportation system, as well as due to the spread of telework amid the coronavirus pandemic. Full story.

    An office of Fujitsu Ltd., sparsely staffed due to teleworking, is seen in Tokyo's Minato Ward on Nov. 4, 2020. (Mainichi/Shinnosuke Kyan)

    <<Japan firms look to balance work styles as business group relaxes COVID guidelines>>

    TOKYO -- The Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) on June 17 revised and greatly simplified its infection control guidelines for the coronavirus. This is based on the improved infection situation in the country, but what will happen to corporate teleworking, which has advanced under the pandemic? Full story.

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