December 4, 2020
December 4, 2020
Work from Home
It has been already a year since the first case of the new coronavirus was reported in November 2019 and turned a pandemic. A state of emergency was declared in Japan on April 7, 2020, and in accordance with it, Satake introduced telecommuting, mainly in departments involved in overseas operations.
I work for International Management Office. We deal with Satake group companies worldwide and global corporate strategy. I commune to Saijo, where our office is, by train which takes 90 minutes. To avoid 3Cs, closed spaces, crowded places, close-contact settings, to lower the risk of getting the virus, it was natural for me to consider taking advantage of the company's new telecommuting work policy. Following is how I adjusted myself to it.
In order to work from home, I first needed to set up a work space and online communication environment at home. I built a bookshelf in the storage room and turned it into an "office space". I then changed my cell phone plan to increase data transfer limit by ten times to participate in daily web meetings and access office's data server.
After about a month of "Stay Home" (a nationwide campaign not to go outside) starting from April, more than half of my weekdays were spent working from home. It gave me a good opportunity to think and reassess the balance between my work life and personal life.
First of all, the three-hour round-trip commute to work has been reduced to zero. This gave me much more time for my personal life. I started reading books on personal development and farming in the morning. During my lunch break, I take care of my small vegetable garden with my two-year-old daughter. Every evening, I'm doing fitness training.
I'm bringing more of my passion to the vegetable garden. I mill brown rice of "Golden Ibuki" variety grown by the Kamo Project (an agricultural corporation run by Satake in Toyosaka, Hiroshima) for every day's meals. Of course, I use Satake's kitchen use rice milling equipment "Gaba Mill"!
I surely do not waste the byproduct of rice milling, bran powder. I make compost mixed with rice bran to create non-chemical fertilizer for my vegetable garden. Throughout this new habit, I gained invaluable experience in agriculture, which is Satake's area of expertise. Also, I'm happy that I can give dietary education to my daughter.
Second is that my work style has changed. Because of this situation, my engagement with superiors and colleagues at work is partly limited. As a result, the time I physically work at the office has become more valuable than before. Now, when I work from home, I use time to plan and preparation. When I come to office, I can fully use my time for face-to-face meeting with people involved in the project.
Also, I have increased communication through video conferencing systems, both in Japan and overseas than before. The office I work has had more opportunity to communicate with overseas group companies than any other offices in the company. However, most of the communication was done via email. I now take this current situation as an opportunity to have frequent video meetings, to ensure closer communication within the group. For example, nearly 10 staff members of Satake Europe Ltd. attended a meeting about the African market from their homes during the lockdown. We know video conferencing will not completely replace business travel, but I feel it's better than email especially when you want to communicate more than sharing information such as exchange opinions, brain storming, etc.
Today, many things have been limited by the spread of new coronavirus. But I believe it should not stop us from providing solutions to our customers, worldwide. We just need to change or adjust the means to reach them.
One of our corporate slogans is "Think Nothing is Impossible. Based on this, we will continue to supply the latest technology and innovative solutions to our customers.