ISOWA NEWS LETTER
2020/02 Vol. 130
The ISOWA NEWS LETTER is a newsletter for the benefit
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and its products – information you won’t find on our home page
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We hope the ISOWA NEWS LETTER will help you feel closer to us.
1├ Work-Style Reforms at ISOWA
2├ Happy New Year 2020
From President Isowa’s Blog, ISOWA DIARY
In an unexpected turn of events, I’ve recently been given a used road bike,
so if the weather is good, you can find me riding around the streets of Nagoya
on my days off. I’m Akari Tsurumoto from the Export Department.
Nagoya, where ISOWA’s Japan head office and plant are located,
is one of Japan’s five largest cities, and it has a robust public transportation system
in the city core, with trains, subway lines, and buses. I only learned this
once I started cycling, but Nagoya doesn’t have many bikeways, so I am often
faced with the choice of either riding slowly along the sidewalk or going out
into the street with the cars, despite the danger.
I once took a trip to the Netherlands, and in Amsterdam there were clearly
marked lanes for pedestrians, bicycles, and cars, so everyone was moving
along safely. Bicycles are good for both the environment and the budget,
and not only can you make lovely discoveries around your neighborhood but
you can also improve your health. I think it’s one of the best forms of transportation,
so I hope Nagoya can someday become more welcoming to cyclists.
What is the street situation like in your town?
Some towns are great for walking, others are perfect for cycling, and others
are fun for driving. I think there are a lot of different types of places,
so if you have the chance, please tell me something nice about where you live!
And now, let’s turn to Vol. 130 of the ISOWA NEWS LETTER.
We hope you like this edition.
Work-Style Reforms at ISOWA
This is Shingo Saegusa of the Export Department.
Let’s get right down to business. Have you ever heard of telework?
Telework is defined as “a flexible work style that uses information and communications
technology (ICT) to enable people to make effective use of their time and place.”
Apparently, the government is promoting telework for the duration of the Olympics
in order to relieve traffic congestion.
It has recently become a word one often hears on the TV news.
At our company, we have implemented telework as a part of our efforts to create an
environment that makes it easy for ISOWA people to work, and in this issue, I’m going to
present the reflections of some people who are actually doing telework at our company.
If anyone is considering telework, hopefully this will be helpful for you.
◆Customer Support/Sales Service Department H.S.
As part of revising the way I work, I began trying WFH (work from home).
Although it’s called “work from home,” it’s not just about working at home,
but rather it’s a way of aiming towards a more flexible way to work.
Thanks to the development of network environments and communication tools,
there are few tasks that must be completed at the office these days. It’s possible
to do the same level of work at home, out and about, on a business trip, or anyplace,
as it is at the office.
There’s nothing wrong with working at home, or out somewhere, or at the office.
I think what’s important is to work efficiently.
I think one huge plus is the time and effort saved by not having
to commute. Two hours each day swaying in a packed train
just to go to work and back really causes stress to build up.
By simply removing that element, I’m able to spend quiet moments
thinking or helping out around the house, and I begin to feel
more relaxed in both body and spirit.
At this point, I haven’t found any drawbacks in particular, but I find
that my “work from home” has been nothing more than a way to rethink
my way of working.
I think our role is to think about how to make an environment that
is truly easy to work in, based on the philosophy of, “Creating a company
with the best corporate culture in the world that makes us and
our families happy.”
Now at ISOWA, even if there isn’t a precedent, if you think of something
that really fits with the philosophy, they will encourage you to “give it a try!”
I’m going to visualize a completely different work style that we might
have in ten or twenty years, as I exchange ideas with my colleagues
in order to make it happen.
◆Customer Support/Service Department N. H.
I have access to the same network environment outside as I do
in the office, which enables me to work at any time or any place.
I can do things that I once did in the office while I’m on the move
or on a business trip, and this has improved my work efficiency.
I’ve worked from home several times, and I found it very relaxing
for my body and spirit to be able to get straight to work without having
to deal with the hectic commuting time. I had more time to help out
with my kids in the morning and communicate with my family, and so
I really felt that there were benefits both for my work life and my private life.
When my private life is stable and fulfilling, this has a positive impact
on my work life as well, so I think I’d like to do it more often in the future.
However, since nobody is around to see what I’m working on
and I can also tend to develop a communication deficit, I have to be
even more disciplined with myself, and I also feel like I have to work more
actively with my everyday communication.
Currently, I’m doing it on a test basis, but I think more people
should try working from home or telework to improve both their work
and home lives.
◆Customer Support/Service Department S. I.
First, some concrete examples of current telework are:
• Working on the Shinkansen (in transit)
• Working at a hotel
• Working at home
When I’m away on a business trip, I mainly use the Shinkansen train.
Before, I was using my iPhone to do work while riding the Shinkansen,
and there were limits to what I could do and it wasn’t very efficient.
Since I was provided with a computer for telework, I’m now able
to work while on the Shinkansen in the same way as I do at the office.
Before, even if I got an urgent question from a customer, I had to
reply with “I’m very sorry, I’m currently on the Shinkansen..,” but now
I can respond with “I’ll look into it and get back to you shortly.”
And depending on the content of their question, I can often respond
I used to return to office after a business trip if I had some time
before the end of the business day. But now, I just go straight home.
I feel like I’m able to work more efficiently, because I can work at home.
When I was working at the Tokyo Domestic Sales Office, riding
a packed train was like doing work before my workday even began,
but when I tried working at home, that time was eliminated and
I felt much more relaxed both physically and mentally.
With a flexible work style, we can work towards a better work
environment and I want to continue to use telework (working from
home) and explore its effects.
◆Customer Support/Service Department K. S.
I’m currently working from home two or three days per week in
conjunction with my reduced working hours due to childcare .
The life of a married couple changes completely when
their childcare begins. Daily trips back and forth to daycare,
from preparations in the morning to putting them to bed
at night, there is never enough time in the day to do it all.
The best thing about working from home is that it eliminates
the time required for a commute.
This benefit gets even greater the further one’s house
is from the office.
Personally, thanks to saving time on my commute,
I’m able to relax and I think I’ve developed an improved
attitude towards not only my family and my children but
to other people as well.
This, more than anything, has helped me begin to feel
that I am working for myself and my family, which is based
on the company philosophy of “make us and our families happy.”
Another benefit to my work is the concept that “being at
the office = working” was eliminated from me.
Thanks to that, I’ve begun thinking about work more, even outside
working hours, and I feel like the things I learn in my day-to-day life
or taking care of my children has also helped provide me with ideas for work,
more and more.
At ISOWA, we’re not yet at a point where everyone can telework,
but as one of the first people who has been able to try it, I honestly
can’t help but wonder what people who are doing work the usual way
are thinking about me, and I wonder what sort of things they might
be saying… So that is one thing that makes me feel a little insecure.
Still, I think of it as an opportunity that I was lucky to receive,
and I want to value this process while producing results that
people can see in order to gain their approval.
I want to work to make our work more efficient and paperless,
for a future where telework can be an option for lots of people,
not just people who have to care for children or elderly relatives.
I believe that the more people who can achieve a good work-life
balance and tackle their work with a sense of satisfaction,
the more this will result in providing even better value for our customers.
◆Public Relations H.M.
The reason why I began working at home was my
husband’s job transfer.
I wanted us to live together as a family, but I didn’t want to
quit my job.
I felt as though it was a pretty selfish request, so
I was half-prepared to be fired when I told my true wishes
to my boss, but I was told, “I think you can do your job
This was a very unexpected and generous proposal.
I remember feeling so happy that I almost cried.
In many cases, WFH means that a person might have
one day per week when they don’t go into the office, but
in my case, I moved really far away, so I mostly work from home
and once every week or two I go in to the office.
When people who normally work at the office work a day
at home, they probably think it’s just about “Doing
whatever work can be accomplished at home.”
But as a result, the stance of “doing work that can also
be done at home” results in nothing but a subset of work that
can be done at the office .
In my case, I hardly ever go in to the office, so if I try
to move forward with this way of thinking, I wind up just
being asked to do odd jobs, and odd jobs which contribute little
to the company at that, which isn’t worth the amount
the company pays for my salary.
Because of this, I realized I needed to adjust my thinking.
Many tasks can be completed easier while working from home.
(I had already begun working at home for
a long time before I had this realization, so I can’t be too proud about it. )
The overwhelming advantage of working at home versus working
at the office is that I am able to fully immerse myself in my thoughts.
Although one downside is that it’s hard to obtain information,
the other side of that coin is that it is the perfect environment
for me to focus in my own world. I think the key to successful
working at home is to do a work that maximizes the benefits.
Finally, working at home only works because of my colleagues
in the office, and looking at it one way you could say they’re letting
me have all the fun. I just want to make sure I never forget
my gratitude for that.
At a manufacturing company like ISOWA,
there are limits to the types of positions that can be done at home.
I feel bad that I’m in the lucky position of being able to work
at home when so many others cannot. But this is why I work hard
so that people will feel glad that I stuck around although I work at home,
rather than quitting completely , and that is the best way for me to
repay the kindness of my colleagues and of my company.
I’m not always confident to say I am achieving
that goal with my work, but I will always keep trying.
What did you think of these reflections on telework?
I think the approach changes depending on the department and
position of the person, but the most important thing is that
by using telework, we can increase the work style options so that
people can be fulfilled in both their work and private lives.
I’ll be interested to read your thoughts on this issue.
Happy New Year 2020
From President Isowa’s Blog, ISOWA DIARY
Happy belated New Year! I hope 2020 is treating you all well.
I’d like to have a quick look back at what happened at the turn
of the year at ISOWA.
▼To read more about it, visit the below website
(President Isowa’s blog, ISOWA DIARY)
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