Tokyo and Covid-19: Will workstyle changes impact greatly?

Tokyo and Covid-19: Will workstyle changes impact greatly?

Sawako Utsumi and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis is impacting internationally to various degrees. Economies and development are enormous throughout the world. Similarly, the same applies to the death rate from coronavirus and a plethora of important issues.

In all major developed economies and with the notable emphasis being mega-cities, then how will Covid-19 impact Tokyo? Of course, other mega-cities including Kobe, Nagoya, Osaka, Sapporo, and Yokohama face similar issues in Japan. However, the capital of Japan is the most populous city and remains a huge pulling power internally and externally.

The new Prime Minister of Japan, Yoshihide Suga, is keen to innovate the digitalization of Japan to a higher level. Hence, his digitalization – and the need to tackle climate change – actually can all play a role in a new post-coronavirus nation.

In other words, the utilization of digitalization, technology, and other advancements and goals are aspects of a new working lifestyle for many Tokyoites. Hence, if the Covid-19 crisis continues to impact society, a further shift will occur where working from home will become an increasing reality for many workers.

Telework is a great way to overcome existing problems that already impacted Tokyo before the coronavirus crisis. This relates to suicide because of working stress, horrendous rush hour periods on trains, the feeling of being unable to escape from the stresses of life, and other burdensome realities.

Likewise, small housing, high rent costs in the most desirable areas, and a city that never seems to rest can be very stressful for countless numbers of people. Equally, from a business point of view, the cost of high rent is extremely burdensome thus downsizing office space – and relocation – is attractive for many companies.

Of course, it could be that the Covid-19 crisis passes into distant memories in years to come – when it comes to working lifestyle. Yet, from hikikomori to high suicides – to mental problems – and enormous pressure because of packed trains during rush hour, then a new working lifestyle based on telework and other jobs working from home will alleviate many problems.

In the short-term, telework and other forms of working from home will increase. Yet, from the utilization of technology to environmental concerns – then this trend will become increasingly attractive.


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