Wednesday 15 August 2018

This company is going to unusual measures to ensure employees don’t work too hard

(stock image)
(stock image)
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Good news, in the form of a drone, may be on the horizon for millions of Japanese workers who are spending their evenings working overtime at their desks.

Japanese Building Management firm Taisei has developed the T-Frend drone designed to encourage workers to leave the office and go home by flying around the office and playing "Auld Lang Syne," according to the World Economic Forum (WEF).

In Japan, shopkeepers play the same song to signal that they are about to close.

Taisei, which has more than 8,000 employees, said that the drone would be used to monitor security in the office at night, as well as detecting what workers are staying in the office later than is good for them.

Drone (stock image)
Drone (stock image)

Since products were developed that can navigate inside buildings, where satellite navigation systems are not a viable option, there has been an explosion is such innovations, according to the WEF.

Going forwards T-Frend's developers are also looking into the possibility of using facial recognition technology to tell what employees are in the office after hours, or whether the office is being burgled.

There is a strong culture of employees working over the standard hours in Japan, where working long hours is perceived as proof of loyalty and dedication.

In 2016 a report found that nearly a quarter of Japanese companies have staff working more than 80 hours of overtime each month, according to the WEF.

Japan even has its own word for death from overwork, Karoshi, which translates as "death by overwork".

The Government in Japan recently introduced several measures in an effort to get staff to stop working so many hours of overtime, including Premium Fridaywhere staff go home early on the last Friday of each month.

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