How to improve work efficiency of remote work (telework)?

2023.12.1 Blog
How to improve work efficiency of remote work (telework)?

The following article writes about the case in Japan, where remote work is not as widespread as in the United States or some other European countries. However, we still would like to share this article, as the improvement of work efficiency in a remote work environment is a relevant subject in any part of the world.

Remote work has become widely adopted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is now recognized as a diverse working style. According to a survey conducted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications in Japan, over half of the companies (51.7%) had implemented telework by 2022. However, as the impact of the pandemic subsides, some companies are transitioning back to office-based work from telecommuting. Even among companies that continue to support remote work, it is often limited to specific operations or departments. This limitation arises due to various reasons, such as certain industries or occupations finding it challenging to facilitate remote work effectively. Additionally, some managers hold the belief that working at the office yields greater efficiency compared to remote work. Addressing these challenges and improving work efficiency in remote work (telework) is the central focus of this article.

Does remote work improve work efficiency?

According to a survey conducted among employees, around 30% of respondents stated that they experience improved work efficiency and better concentration when working remotely compared to being in the office. On the other hand, over 20% of respondents reported that their work efficiency is poor when working remotely. Making a definitive conclusion is challenging. However, employees perceive benefits such as reduced commuting time. Companies can also enjoy cost savings from lower office rent and commuting expenses while promoting work style reform. Optimizing remote work brings advantages for both companies and employees. Let’s explore steps to minimize challenges and enhance work efficiency in a remote setting.

Challenges of remote work 1: Workflow is not adapted to remote work

Employees have highlighted various common challenges in remote work, including the inability to exchange paper documents, limited access to printers or scanners, difficulties with traditional hankos (approval and payment settlement stamps in Japan), and challenges in accessing company information. These issues primarily arise from workflows not tailored to remote work. Analog tasks or those needing physical presence for approvals create bottlenecks and impede efficiency, even when other tasks can be performed online.

Improve the efficiency of remote work

To improve remote work efficiency, companies should review procedures and transition to paperless systems. Additionally, knowledge management tools like Kiku enable automatic knowledge accumulation. When an employee encounters a problem, they can access this knowledge online and independently resolve the issue. If an answer is unavailable, Kiku allows posting questions in the tool’s community. This approach contributes to improved work efficiency by preventing redundant inquiries and fostering the sharing of high-quality knowledge among all community members.

Challenges of remote work 2: Less communication

One common challenge raised regarding remote work is the reduction in communication within the company. In a remote work environment, employees do not have the same daily interaction as they would in an office setting. As a result, there are fewer opportunities for casual conversations and the development of trust-based relationships. Remote workers may also face difficulties in quickly clarifying minor details with their coworkers, which could have been easily addressed with just a few words in an office setting. The absence of these informal exchanges among colleagues can potentially hinder workflow efficiency.

To solve the communication problem

To address communication challenges, we can utilize remote communication tools like chat and email. Additionally, sharing knowledge becomes crucial in remote work settings. Identifying individuals with specific information or seeking guidance from experienced colleagues directly can be challenging in remote work environment. Knowledge management tools facilitate seamless information sharing, alleviating burdens for both inquirers and respondents.


To enhance work efficiency in remote, telework, and hybrid work settings, we suggest the following steps:

  1. Review business operations to transition to a paperless system.
  2. Create an environment which supports active online communication.
  3. Utilize knowledge management tools like Kiku to improve efficiency of the remote work.

With Kiku, you can automate knowledge collection, reduce communication and training costs. Rather than viewing remote work as a mere emergency measure, it can be seen as an opportunity to promote work style reform and establish a more efficient remote work environment.




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