NTT Group introduces remote-first policy

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
NTT West employees have an online meeting with a telecommuting employee in February 2020.

NTT Group will introduce in July a new teleworking system that allows employees to work from home without restrictions on where they live, it has been learned.

The new system will be applied to approximately 30,000 employees at major NTT Group companies. The group aims to provide a freer working environment and to retain superior personnel.

The new system will initially target employees in departments suitable for teleworking at NTT Corp., NTT Docomo Inc., NTT East Corp., NTT West Corp., NTT Data Corp. and other group companies. Working from home will become the primary option for these employees, and they will not be required to notify the company to telework, which has been the case in the past.

The group will also remove restrictions on where employees can live. Moreover, it will introduce a new rule to treat attendance at the head office, branch offices and other offices as business trips. Commuting costs will be paid without limit, and employees will be able to fly to the office, which was not previously allowed. The company will also pay for accommodation.

NTT Group as a whole has 180,000 employees in Japan, and hopes to spread the new system to other group companies in the future. The group will also promote labor-saving measures by using information technology in maintenance and management departments where teleworking is not feasible.

In September 2021, NTT Group positioned teleworking, which has grown in popularity amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, as the primary work option and announced a policy of gradually reducing the number of transfers and unaccompanied assignments. The group is also increasing the number of satellite offices, which are regional hubs for teleworking.

Major tech company Yahoo Japan Corp. and online flea market giant Mercari Inc. have already introduced teleworking systems to allow employees to live anywhere in Japan. NTT Group’s initiative is likely to be of an unprecedented scale for Japan.