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Takeda Announces Introduction of New, Highly Flexible Work Styles

- From August 1, 2018 Takeda in Japan will be introducing a highly flexible work system, an evolution of its current system, in order to further promote the reform of working practices
- By responding to employees' life-work needs and allowing them flexibility in choosing where and when they work, Takeda aims to maximize the productivity and performance of individuals and the organization as a whole
- By adopting an open-plan design for our offices, Takeda will increase creativity and teamwork, and accelerate innovation
As one of our diversity and inclusion priorities, since May 2016 Takeda in Japan has been promoting flexible work styles in both hours and place of work, including a no core hours flexitime system, with the aim of maximizing individual and organizational productivity and performance. As of March 2018, 92% of our applicable employees in Japan have experienced work on a flexitime system, with a further 36% having made use of our work-from-home system. Many of the employees using these systems have said that they help them in their work, improving their efficiency and supporting a healthy life-work balance.
In order to make our existing working practices increasingly flexible going forward, employees' and its worker's union's feedback were incorporated and as of August 1st, 2018 Takeda will be moving to an advanced flexible work system, which will enable individuals to work at any time in any place, depending on their personal needs.
In addition, as part of our initiative to reform working practices, Takeda will be taking part in “Jisa Biz” *1, a campaign led by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government to stagger working hours to avoid rush hour congestion.
Moreover, between July 23rd and July 27th, 2018 Takeda in Japan will participate as a special partner organization in “Telework Days”*2, a joint initiative developed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs; the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare; the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport; the Cabinet Secretariat; and the Cabinet Office in conjunction with Tokyo Metropolitan Government and related organizations.     
In order to foster a work culture that gives employees maximum flexibility in choosing when and where to work, we are turning the “Telework Days” period into a “Flexible Work Week” to promote more flexible working styles and the use of this system throughout the company in Japan.
  New systems to be introduced on August 1st, 2018

  • Abolition of set minimum working hours per day
    Previously, minimum daily working hours for flexitime were set at half or more of standard working hours. This rule will now be abolished, enabling employees to work more flexibly and accommodate both business and personal engagements, within their monthly working hours.
  • Half-day vacations are now eligible for flexitime
    If a half-day vacation is taken, flexitime can now be used for the rest of that day.

  • Flexitime now possible during probationary periods

  • Number of compensatory vacations that can be taken increased to 4 per month
    If, in the middle of the month, an employee’s total working hours for the month up until that point average 7 hours 45 minutes or more, up to four days of compensatory vacations per month can be taken in lieu, an increase from two.

  • Mid-work breaks (extra break time) now available
    Taking short breaks taken during standard working hours for personal matters such as doctor's appointments or bank visits, subject to the approval of a supervisor, will be possible.

  • Change to 'Telework' from a 'Work-from-Home' system
    Subject to certain conditions, it will be possible to telework from locations other than home.

Along with improving our system, we are also endeavoring to create a comfortable office environment to work in. Takeda Global Headquarters, which held its Grand Opening on July 2nd this year, features a highly flexible office layout based on President and CEO Christophe Weber’s vision of modern work styles, in which the work environment encourages creativity and teamwork, and fosters closer connectivity between employees.
The space design incorporates multiple open meeting spaces and refreshment areas to provide flexibility and to allow employees to work in ways that fit their specific goals. Each floor is designed in a way that employees can freely choose either a traditional team layout or a free address style, and free spaces and multipurpose lounge floors have also been established throughout the building to provide the ideal environment for a wide variety of tasks. We have also introduced the latest IT infrastructure to connect employees around the world through telepresence, online meeting, and company chat systems, to enable seamless collaboration regardless of time or location.

An office floor of Takeda Global Headquarters, Tokyo, Japan

Teleworking images

We will continue to promote the reformation of work culture and strive to create a good working environment that can accommodate the needs of all employees and maximize their potential.

We are committed to facilitating closer connections and collaboration between all members of our diverse workforce, and see the variety of backgrounds and perspectives as key for the creation of innovative ideas, which will in turn accelerate our transformation into a leading global biopharmaceutical company, enabling us to continue to contribute to bringing better health and a brighter future to people worldwide. 

*1 “Jisa Biz” aims to ease train congestion in Tokyo by staggering commute times, and will be in place from July 9th (Monday) to August 10th (Friday) For details, see https://jisa-biz.tokyo/ (Japanese language only)

*2 The Ministry of Internal Affairs; the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare; the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport; the Cabinet Secretariat; and the Cabinet Office are partnering with Tokyo Metropolitan Government and related organizations to develop a national movement for the reform of working practices. The 24th of July, which corresponds with the date of the opening ceremony for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, will be designated “Telework Day”, as will two or more additional days between July 23rd (Monday) and July 27th (Friday), 2018 depending on the circumstances of each company or organization. For details, see https://teleworkdays.jp/ (Japanese language only)


Reference: The major initiatives that Takeda in Japan has introduced to promote diversity in work and vacation practices so far (as of July 2018)

Phase 1 Promotion of Women's advancement via HR system expansion (up to 2010)

  • Reduced working hours system for Medical Representatives introduced
  • Former employees re-hiring system introduced
  • Flexitime introduced
  • Work-from-home introduced
  • Support program for people returning to work after childcare leave
  • Company-wide no-overtime day enacted
  • Received certification as a “childcare supporting company” (Kurumin mark) from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare

Phase 2 Promotion of life-work balance and expansion of support (2011 – 2013)

  • Establishment of in-house daycare (Shonan Research Center's Takeda Kids)
  • Partnership with daycare center begun (Tokyo Area)
  • Babysitting fees support introduced
  • Seminars for people returning to work after childcare leave has begun
  • Publication of ARCH, a newsletter in which the heads of each department tell, in their own words, what diversity means
  • Website developed for people seeking life-work balance support, particularly those returning from maternity and childcare leave
  • Targets for reducing overtime hours set
  • Volunteer Leave System introduced

Phase 3 Promotion of Diversity & Inclusion (2014 – Present)

  • Flexible Work introduced (core time within flexitime abolished, eligibility for working from home expanded)
  • Promotion of taking annual paid leave (2017 target was set at 70% or over, 71.2% achieved)
  • Daycare-hunting concierge service started
  • Women's leader training programs enacted
  • Global statement on Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) produced, and in Japan, prioritized themes are defined as; 1) promotion of diversity focused on individuals, 2) work style reform, and 3) enhancement of career diversity
  • “D&I Promotion Meetings” begun for Japan-based senior leadership
  • Takeda Women's Day(Hanamizuki Day) enacted by the grassroots network “Hanamizuki”, with the aim of supporting the women who work at Takeda as well as all its other employees
  • Leave to accompany a spouse who has been relocated overseas introduced
  • Participation in “Premium Friday”
  • Lectures on LGBT awareness
  • Lectures on care seminars begun
    * As a recognized “Childcare Support Company”, by conducting childcare support initiatives of a higher standard, and fulfilling the criteria laid down by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Takeda received a special certification (Platinum Kurumin) in 2015