Following the issuance of a state of emergency targeting one metropolitan area and three prefectures, manufacturing firms are making efforts to sustain their R&D activities while reinforcing steps to control contamination. We followed each company’s efforts, such as detailed work from home, use of satellite offices, and travel other than public transportation.
The government declared a state of emergency for the prefectures of Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, and Chiba on January 7, 2021. The cycle takes place from 8 to 7 February of the same month. As in the former state of emergency, enterprises are expected to decrease enrollment by 70% to around 30%.
Every organization has already suppressed the attendance rate by operating from home, but there are steps to improve initiatives in response to this state of emergency. There are more limits on participation much of the time because of the expansion of telecommuting.
Strengthen job at home by using lessons and equipment learned
Until now, at all domestic offices (including factories), Toshiba had set a 50 percent attendance rate as a “standard” but upgraded it to “must reach” Decreasing the enrollment rate, however, has no impact on research and growth.
“By balancing R & D that is absolutely necessary for attendance and those that are not, we are able to keep the attendance rate low and operate without hindering results,” the organization said. The organization has taken dramatic action, such as traveling ahead of holidays since the state of emergency was last declared (April to May 2008), and stresses that it is a result of operating in advance from home.
The spectrum of telecommuting and curb participation will also be expanded by Honda. The head office (Tokyo, Minato) used to keep the attendance rate at 50 percent, but after the state of emergency declaration, it would operate from home in theory.
In addition, R&D bases and offices in the field of Tokyo / Saitama and indirect divisions of Saitama Works will also operate from home in theory. The equipment and software are being built with respect to R & D work at home, and there will be no significant effects. “We were able to smoothly consider the response based on the previous response. We will use lessons learned and equipment to strengthen telecommuting,” the organization said.
A software-related subsidiary of the Toyota Motor Industry, Woven Planet Holdings (formerly TRI-AD), has declared a policy of working from home for around 700 employees working at the headquarters (Tokyo / Chuo). The enrollment rate was less than 30 percent even prior to the state of emergency, which exceeded the amount demanded by the government, but it would be more implemented.
The environment has been set up such that it is convenient to work from home even before the latest coronavirus outbreak, with respect to R&D work, and there is no big issue. The organization said, however, “there are some tasks that cannot be accomplished by simulating a virtual environment alone,”
The enrollment rate of around 6,500 indirect divisions would be decreased to 20% by Hino Motors, based on its headquarters (Hino City, Tokyo). 40 percent was the traditional enrollment rate. At this point, there is no effect on R & D activities.