Support for Every Individual: Diverse Work Styles and Work-Life Balance

Photo: Image of an employee raising a child at home Photo: Image of an employee raising a child at home

Support for every person means helping each and every individual, with their diverse individualities, to face their challenges. We are working to help people achieve a healthy work-life balance by creating an environment and structure that allows them to choose diverse and flexible work styles.

Support for a healthy work-life balance

As part of our efforts to create an environment in which diverse human resources can take on challenges and flourish in the workplace, we are committed to supporting our employees in achieving a healthy work-life balance. While it is necessary for individual employees to take a proactive approach in balancing work with childcare or nursing care, it may not be possible to overcome this challenge alone, and requires the understanding and support of the workplace, including superiors. We have also prepared guidebooks that explain the various systems to help employees achieve a healthy work-life balance and which outline the relationship between managers and staff. By doing so, we aim to support employees in continuing their careers with peace of mind, regardless of their situation with childcare or nursing care.

Promoting e-Work and establishing a new remote work system

We have been promoting e-Work as an efficient work style that is not restricted by time or location, and have introduced a remote work system for approximately 40,000 employees. In response to the strong push toward utilizing remote work and the penetration of new ways of working using IT and digital technology due to the impact of COVID-19, we established a new remote work system in April 2021 as a new way of working that does not necessarily require employees to come to the office. Over 10,000 employees are now making use of it for more than half of each month.

Photo: Image of an employee working remotely

Supporting diverse and flexible work styles

We have revised our systems to allow all employees to take annual paid leave in half-day or hourly increments, regardless of their work style or position. In addition, we have also made it possible for employees to take leave for personal reasons during working hours and to allocate their leave for this purpose, thereby supporting more diverse and flexible work styles. By accelerating the adoption of diverse and flexible work styles, we aim to improve productivity and realize a better work-life balance for employees.

Photo: Image of an employee chatting with the family while working remotely from home

Examples of possible future work styles

Some operating companies have initiated the following trials.

*These are just some examples from the Japan region. The actual cases are expected to vary among Panasonic group companies.

For employees who want to take on the challenge of self-determined career formation, such as side jobs, volunteer work, self-study, etc.

For example, the following work style is possible

I’d like to broaden my knowledge of manufacturing!

Employee A, production line worker (factory, Nagoya)

Illustration: Employee A in work clothes, looking like they are thinking about something

I’d like to experience another company’s worksite to broaden my professional knowledge…

But I’ll be exhausted if I worked on the side on my days off…

My current workplace doesn’t allow it… I guess I’ll just have to give up…

Working four days a week to take on a side job at another company

The employee working shift work at a factory wants to experience working at another company to gain a thorough knowledge of manufacturing. In the past, it would not have been feasible for this employee to spend their days off working as a temporary worker elsewhere on a personal basis. However, they can now work four days a week, and use the remaining day to work as an advisor for making improvements at another company’s site. This employee will be able to work at their own pace to improve one’s expertise and challenge oneself while ensuring they still have days off.

Work four days a week by making use of the Career Development Support Work System

Illustration: Schedule of employee A, who works 8 hours on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, and has Wednesday off Illustration: Schedule of employee A, who works 8 hours on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, and has Wednesday off

I spend my remaining working day doing a side job at another company! I can take my days off and not be overworked!

Illustration: Employee A, who works for the company on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, and works for another company on Wednesday Illustration: Employee A, who works for the company on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, and works for another company on Wednesday

With my newfound knowledge, I’m sure I’ll be able to take on fresh challenges!

Illustration: Employee A standing in front of a whiteboard and giving a lecture Illustration: Employee A standing in front of a whiteboard and giving a lecture

For example, the following work style is possible

I’d like to make use of my qualifications to take on new challenges!

Employee B, strategic planning/flexible working hours (office, Osaka)

Illustration: Employee B in a suit, looking like they are thinking about something

I’ve got the qualifications, but I don’t have the time or place to put them to good use…

I’d like to respond to requests for consulting from friends back home, but it’s not like Osaka and Fukuoka are within commuting distance…

I wish my working hours and location were more flexible…

Without reducing working hours, taking on a side job from parents’ home outside of commuting distance

Suppose the employee wants to try their hand at a side job using their qualifications, and they have the opportunity to do so back home, far from their current place of work. They could work three days a week in their current office and spend the remaining two days at their parents’ home, working remotely one of the two days and spending the other day pursuing a side job.
Regarding the time allocated for one day per week for the side job, they can work more efficiently during the three days they spend in the office, allowing them to take on the challenge of a side job while still maintaining their regular working hours.

If I can spend two days a week at my parents’ house in Fukuoka, I can work remotely one day and try a side job the other day.

Illustration: Employee B working at both parents’ home and the office Illustration: Employee B working at both parents’ home and the office

In return, I will work a little harder during the three days in the office and keep my regular working hours.

Illustration: Employee B working in the office, making full use of a PC and a smartphone. The hands of the clock are pointing to 10 o’clock. Illustration: Employee B working in the office, making full use of a PC and a smartphone. The hands of the clock are pointing to 10 o’clock.

I will be able to use my qualification as a Small and Medium Enterprise Management Consultant to help out at my friend’s company!

Illustration: Employee B shaking hands Illustration: Employee B shaking hands

Support for employees during pregnancy and childcare

Before pregnancy

Child planning leave

Available for both male and female employees

Family support leave

Available for both male and female employees

During pregnancy

Absence from work
for medical checkups

Available for female employees

Doctor-mandated
maternity leave

Available for female employees

Extra break times and
extended breaks for meals

Available for female employees

Absence from work
due to pregnancy

Available for female employees

Breaks during pregnancy

Available for female employees

Work limitations
during pregnancy

Available for female employees

Shorter working hours
for expectant mothers

Available for female employees

Conversion to light duty work

Available for female employees

Limitations on overtime,
holidays, and late-night work

Available for female employees

Limitations on hazardous
and harmful work

Available for female employees

Limitations on the application
of variable working hours

Available for female employees

Work & life plan

Available for both male and female employees

Leave before and after childbirth—childcare leave systems

Maternity leave before
and after childbirth

Available for female employees

Work & life report

Available for both male and female employees

Family support leave

Available for both male and female employees

Childcare leave

Available for both male and female employees

Parenting time

Available for both male and female employees

Childcare holidays

Available for female employees

Absence from work
for medical checkups

Available for female employees

Doctor-mandated
maternity leave

Available for female employees

Shorter working hours
for expectant mothers

Available for female employees

Work limitations

Available for female employees

Limitations on the application
of variable working hours

Available for female employees

Limitations on hazardous
and harmful work

Available for female employees

Exemptions and limitations
on overtime work

Available for both male and female employees

Exemption from
late-night work

Available for both male and female employees

Work and life
support program

Available for both male and female employees

Family support leave

Available for both male and female employees

Babysitting service

Available for both male and female employees

Panasonic Kids House

Available for both male and female employees

Support program
for balancing childcare

Available for both male and female employees

Utilization of remote work

Available for both male and female employees

Career support for employees during pregnancy and childcare

We use the Guidebook for Supporting Work-Life Balance (Work and Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Childcare) to promote understanding of the company’s systems. This guidebook also serves as a management guide for supervisors, promoting communication tailored to each employee’s circumstances, from pregnancy through to the childcare period.

Image: Cover of the Guidebook for Supporting Work-Life Balance (Work and Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Childcare)

Panasonic Kids House

We established Panasonic Kids House, an internal childcare facility, in the Hoshida Company Housing (directly managed rental housing) in Katano City, Osaka Prefecture, with the aims of helping ensure a good balance between work and childcare for employees and contributing to the creation of a society in which it is easy to have and raise children.

Photo: Interior view of Panasonic Kids House, children spending time outside the facility

Examples of possible future work styles

Some operating companies have initiated the following trials.

*These are just some examples from the Japan region. The actual cases are expected to vary among Panasonic group companies.

For employees who want to balance life events and career, such as childcare or partner relocation

For example, the following work style is possible

My partner has been transferred and I’d like to go with them!

Employee C, human resources/flexible working hours (office, Osaka)

Illustration: Employee C in casual office attire, looking motivated

My partner has just been told that they are being transferred to Okinawa. Who will look after the children?

Will one of us have to change jobs?

We have a two-year-old and a four-year-old, and it’s impossible to raise them alone…

Flexible and fully remote work without overtime from home outside of commuting distance!

We often hear of cases where an employee is forced to change jobs or resign from their current employer in order to accompany their partner on a job transfer. In such cases, they can choose to work flexibly and remotely from their home outside the commuting area, thus avoiding having to change jobs due to their partner’s transfer or other circumstances. This also allows the company to accommodate individual wishes, such as working without overtime until they have settled into their new life.

If I can work remotely from Okinawa, we can both keep working while sharing childcare duties as we have done in the past!

Illustration: Employee C washing dishes at home and their partner working with a laptop PC open Illustration: Employee C washing dishes at home and their partner working with a laptop PC open

I’ve worked mostly remotely in the past as well, so it should be a breeze.

Illustration: Employee C working at a laptop PC with one child by their side. The blue sea and the sky are visible from the window of the room. Illustration: Employee C working at a laptop PC with one child by their side. The blue sea and the sky are visible from the window of the room.

Until I settle into my new life, I would like to work without overtime and have enough time to spare!

Illustration: Employee C has shut down their laptop PC and is playing with two small children on their back Illustration: Employee C has shut down their laptop PC and is playing with two small children on their back

Support for employees caring for a family member

Support for employees caring for a family member

We use the Guidebook for Supporting Work-Life Balance (Work and Caregiving) to promote understanding of the company’s systems. This guidebook also serves as a management guide for supervisors, promoting communication tailored to each employee’s circumstances, from the stage before they start providing caregiving to after.

Image: Cover of the Guidebook for Supporting Work-Life Balance (Work and Caregiving)

Nursing care seminars

Since FY2017, we have been holding seminars at each of our business locations and offices to raise awareness of the need for basic knowledge and preparation for balancing work and nursing care, as well as to promote understanding and foster a workplace culture among those in positions of responsibility through the seminars.
We have also been holding online seminars for employees and managers since FY2022.

*Definition of terms used on this section:
- Fiscal year: from April 1 to March 31 of the following year (e.g. Fiscal 2021: April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021)

Website for Helping Strike a Balance between Work and Caregiving

This website provides a summary of internal and external support systems and basic information available to employees at each stage of nursing care, from the stage before they start providing caregiving to after.
In addition, we have established a nursing care consultation service in partnership with a company specializing in nursing care, and have a system in place where employees can consult with them at any time about their nursing care concerns.

Image: Screen capture from the Helping Strike a Balance between Work and Caregiving website

Examples of possible future work styles

Some operating companies have initiated the following trials.

*These are just some examples from the Japan region. The actual cases are expected to vary among Panasonic group companies.

For employees who want to balance life events and career, such as nursing care

For example, the following work style is possible

I’d like to balance work and caring for my parents!

Employee D, IT engineer/flexible working hours (mid-career hire, Hokkaido)

Illustration: Employee D in casual office attire, looking like they are thinking about something

I want to move to a place where I can be more active as an IT engineer…

I can’t leave my parents’ home because I have to take care of them…

I wonder if it’s possible to combine caregiving with a career…

Fully remote work four days a week while caring for parents at home!

Employees can work remotely from home or parents’ house outside the commuting area, so those who cannot be away from family members they are acting as caregivers for can still apply for jobs at our offices outside the commuting area.
By choosing the four days a week option, those who are unable to work five days a week due to caregiving responsibilities will not have to give up their careers to do so.

I’m sure I can apply for a job with the Osaka Office with the assumption that I’ll be working fully remotely!

Illustration: Employee D, who is considering applying for a job with the Osaka Office from their home in Hokkaido Illustration: Employee D, who is considering applying for a job with the Osaka Office from their home in Hokkaido

I work four days a week, so I can comfortably combine my work with caregiving!

*Work and Life Support Program

Illustration: Employee D chatting with an elderly woman with a cup in their hand Illustration: Employee D chatting with an elderly woman with a cup in their hand

I do not have to give up my career for caregiving!

Illustration: Employee D running up the career steps Illustration: Employee D running up the career steps

Action plan on the Act on Advancement of Measures to Support Raising Next-Generation Children

Formulation of action plan leading to support for raising the next generation

We have formulated an action plan in accordance with Japan’s Act on Advancement of Measures to Support Raising Next-Generation Children. We aim to be a company that contributes to supporting employees in balancing work and childcare/nursing care, to making great strides in the advancement of women’s activities, and to supporting the development of the next generation.

Examples of systems supporting a healthy work-life balance