Return to office work gains momentum in Japan

More organisations operating in Tokyo are planning to rent more office space to allow employees to return to the office.
By: | February 9, 2023

Offices in Tokyo are beginning to fill up as more employees return to work in the office. According to a survey of Tokyo’s 23 wards, 49% of organisations reported that more than 80% of their employees have returned to the office in 2022, an increase from the 36% in 2021.

The survey conducted by Mori Building also found strong demand for office space in Tokyo, with 24% of organisations looking to rent new office space. Of these, 49% intend to expand space, an increase of 9% from 2021. 30% of organisations plan to downsize, a decrease of 5% from 2021.

As to why organisations are renting new office space, 29% of organisations said the spaces were either in a desirable location or offered low rent, while 27% cited a need to adapt to changes in work style, such as introducing a free-seating system to allow for greater flexibility.

READ: Remote work increases happiness levels among employees in Japan

While more employers may want their employees back in the office, the sentiment may not be a mutual one. In a survey conducted by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare late last year, employees in Japan who work remotely at least once per week are happier than their office counterparts.

This, says the ministry, can be attributed to reduced stress from commuting to the workplace, the ability to spend more time with their families, and increased sleep.