White paper: Telecommuters get more sleep

The Yomiuri Shimbun

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Remote work helps people get more time to sleep, and allows them to be happier if they appropriately balance telework and working at the office, a government white paper showed Friday.

People tend to feel depressed or anxious if they get less sleep, according to the fiscal 2022 white paper on the prevention of death by overwork, which was adopted at the day’s cabinet meeting.

Remote work reduces physical and mental burden, as it eliminates the need for commuting and gives people more time to spend at home, experts said.

“Telework has various merits,” a Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry official said of the results of the remote work survey shown in the annual paper. Remote work has spread in Japan, like in many other countries, following the novel coronavirus pandemic.

According to the government survey, the proportion of people who sleep for six hours or more a day on average was the highest among respondents who work remotely every day, standing at 66%. The lowest rate was 54%, for those who do not work remotely at all.

The share of people who think they are happy is higher among those working remotely about one to three days a week than those who do not work remotely at all and those working remotely every day.

Balancing remote work with occasional work at the office to interact with coworkers is important, pundits said.

The survey covered 10,000 people across the nation.