Japan Data

Tokyo Employees Returning to the Office

Economy Work

Tokyo workers are now spending more time in the office compared with during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nomura Research Institute conducted a survey looking at Tokyo employees’ work styles and their intention to relocate to the suburbs or out of the city entirely. The results revealed that, as of July 2023, 53.1% went to the office every day, 12.7% four days a week, and 9.3% three days a week. This adds up to 75.1% of employees going into the office three or more days a week. At the time of the last survey in February 2022, when Tokyo was still in the final phase of COVID-19 restrictions, 59.7% answered three or more days a week, so there has been a clear rise in the number of employees returning to the workplace rather than working from home.

The survey this time, conducted online, targeted 3,090 men and women aged from 20 to 69 employed at major companies, with more than 300 employees, located in Tokyo.

Frequency of Going to the Office

Respondents who had started going into the office more often were asked the reason, with multiple answers possible. The most common response with 39.0% was “the policies and rules at my workplace changed and I was required to come to the office.” In contrast, there were some cases where employees willingly increased how often they went into the office, with 28.2% who said it was “so I could communicate smoothly” and 23.7% stating it was “so I could concentrate on work.”

Respondents were also asked about their interest, or intention, to relocate to the suburbs or out of the Tokyo area entirely. This showed that 15.3% of all respondents were thinking to relocate “within the next year” and 28.4% “within five years.” Both figures were a slight rise from the previous survey. It indicates that even though people are moving back toward working in the office, their desire to relocate to the suburbs or further afield remains undiminished.

Intention to Relocate to Suburbs/Out of Tokyo

The institute suggests that reasons for this trend include the desire to move somewhere with lower house costs and for more space as remote work is becoming more standard.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)

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