Oita: Island using rental truck equipped with work space to woo visitors

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Participants in a trial event attend an online meeting in a work space on a truck bed on Himeshima island, Oita Prefecture.

HIMESHIMA, Oita — A small, remote island in the Seto Inland Sea is advocating a new work style in which employees drive to their favorite places and work while enjoying their vacation.

Courtesy of Himeshima village board of education
Himeshima island

For this new option for remote work that has attracted attention during the coronavirus pandemic, the Oita prefectural government and the village office of Himeshima island have organized trial events with employees of tech companies.

Participants can use a light truck equipped with a sofa and removable desks for a work space that also has Wi-Fi. The roof opens up to give it an airy feeling. A battery can be rented to power computers and smartphones.

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Aiming to attract tech companies to the island, the municipality believed it was important to first provide opportunities for people from urban areas to visit.

An NEC employee gave it a try with a colleague for three days, during which they stayed at a guesthouse and enjoyed hot springs and mountain climbing while taking turns driving the truck.

“The proximity to nature is something you can’t experience in the city,” the woman said. “It has a positive vibe.”