Special Report 2New Work Styles Driving Innovation
Toppan positions work style reform as one of its management challenges. In addition to remote work, Toppan is putting into practice new ways of working in various settings. These include developing offices designed for the “new normal” and holding online training and networking events. Toppan aims to help transform work styles and mindsets in wider society by taking on challenges in-house and proactively disclosing information on them.
Creation of Atte—A Workspace to Maximize the Value of Meeting People
Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, a large number of people are working remotely without visiting offices. While remote work has the advantage of enabling flexibility aligned to circumstances, the reduction in the number of opportunities to meet people directly can lead to a lack of communication and undermine teamwork.
Taking this into account, Toppan has opened “Atte,” a new office that presents a vision for the future of working. Atte is based on the concept of maximizing the value of meeting and interacting with people face-to-face. While remote work and other diverse work styles are being advanced, this puts a renewed focus on the value of meeting people. With Atte, Toppan is aiming to generate innovation from the kind of in-depth discussions and real interactions that can only occur when speaking to people in person.
Atte adopts a free-address system. With co-working areas and a café for relaxation, it stimulates communication that transcends organizational divisions and goes beyond a simple working space. It also has live streaming studios equipped with dedicated equipment to enable online sales activities. Atte stimulates external communication by enabling webinars, presentations, inside sales, and more.
Taking advantage of Toppan’s know-how and the latest Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, it enables the most effective use of time, whether interacting remotely or in person.
About the Atte office
Address 8F/9F Sumitomo Realty &
Development Chiyoda Fujimi Building,
Fujimi 1-8-19, Chiyoda, Tokyo
Area 1943.28 m2
Toppan Group Technologies and Resources at Atte
Your Space™ is a spatial production solution that enables centralized control of visual media, audio, aroma, and lighting. “Natural Window,” which uses high-definition 4K video, and “Aroma Shooter,” which can instantly switch between multiple aromas, function automatically to match the selected setting. The space helps to increase concentration levels and enhance performance.
Smart NANO®, a decorative sheet for world-class décor materials that fuses Toppan’s printing technology with Tokyo University of Science’s nanotechnology, is used on the work tables. Smart NANO offers the same woodgrain and other surface designs and textures as Toppan’s previous products, but provides greater resistance to scratches and stains.
LC MAGIC is a light control film that switches between transparent and opaque in response to power being turned on and off. LC MAGIC is used at Atte for the partitions between the live streaming studios. It can be switched to suit specific purposes by, for example, being changed to opaque when a closed meeting is streamed. It can also function as a projection screen for visual media.
Video and Smartphone Apps Used to Enable Online Training for New Recruits
In light of the need to prevent the spread of COVID-19, in fiscal 2020 training for new recruits was held online instead of in the traditional group training sessions. Approximately 420 new employees received training enabled by the latest digital technologies and Toppan’s original human resource development solutions. To enable employees to feel comfortable participating in the training without having to visit the office, steps were taken to ensure that the ratio of employees to trainers was about 20 to one, and seminars on managing mental and physical condition were also incorporated into the program.
This was the first time that Toppan attempted to hold the full training program online, but responses from the trainees indicated a 99% level of satisfaction with the 27-day course. In overall assessments of basic knowledge regarding Toppan and its systems, the average score among trainees was 95.9 points, the highest over the last eight years.
Toppan will continue to drive innovation of training under the new normal by enhancing content and programs to maximize learning with such initiatives as virtual plant tours.
Evaluation of Online Training (Based on trainee questionnaire responses)
Using the IoT to Facilitate Employee Communication: TOPPAN eSPORTS FESTIVAL 2021
Toppan and the labor union hold the TOPPAN SPORTS FESTIVAL every two years as an event to stimulate communication and foster unity within the Group. The event was scheduled to be held in 2020, but due to the difficulty of holding it in the traditional way amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a new challenge was taken on in the form of the TOPPAN eSPORTS FESTIVAL 2021.
A feature of esports is that they provide a level playing field for everyone competing, transcending physical abilities, gender, or age. Toppan has had an interest in esports for some time as a form of universal competition and has been involved in internal and external events and recreational activities. Leveraging that know-how, Toppan held an esports event open to the Group’s 50,000 employees and their families. With quizzes and workshops for the whole family to enjoy in addition to the competition, it was possible to stimulate communication in a way that had not been done before.
After coming through preliminary rounds held at 48 sites in Japan, 16 teams competed in the finals. Some of the teams even had their own uniforms made after bonding by competing side-by-side. To create an even more exciting atmosphere at venues, professionals handled play-by-play and color commentary duties and a special rule was introduced that three-person teams had to include at least one officer or senior manager. The tournament received a cumulative total of 20,000 views and a large number of comments on a specially constructed website.
TOPPAN Quiz Champion Contest
A quiz contest was held on Toppan’s technologies and esports. People were able to enter simply by reading a QR code. In addition to a large number of employees and their families, employees due to join the Company in 2021 took part and competed to get as many correct answers as possible.
HAND IN HAND Art Gallery
The Institute of the Formative Art Co., Ltd., a Toppan Group company, created a video of an online art session held in December 2020. With the title “HAND IN HAND,” the video showed parents and children enjoying the session and the works of art they created.
Introducing Flexible Working Arrangements: Smart Work System and Full-time Working from Home
By establishing flexible work systems, Toppan strives to create environments in which everyone can continue to work in the way that best suits them. Toppan previously introduced a smart work system (flex time) and expanded systems for working from home, but with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Company has reviewed existing initiatives and introduced and revised work systems to align with work styles under the new normal.
The remote work system in place since October 2020 covers three types of working arrangement: working from home, working from a satellite office, and mobile working. This means that full-time working from home is possible and the setting of core times for people covered by the smart work system has been abolished. Toppan will continue to work to improve both productivity and work-life balance by enabling flexible selection of work styles in accordance with people’s work duties and lifestyles.
Features of Work Systems
- In addition to working from home, people can work from satellite offices or adopt a mobile working style. These arrangements can also be combined with the discretionary and smart work systems to enable working hours and location to be selected in accordance with the type of work being performed.
- Because there is no limit on the number of times people can work from home, full-time working from home is possible.
- When working from home, temporary breaks in work are permitted.
- In addition to sales and planning departments, the discretionary work system has been expanded to departments driving digital transformation, as well as those responsible for R&D and developing and planning new businesses.
- The smart work system has no core times.
Advancing Diverse Work Styles to
Accelerate Self-fulfillment for Employees
and Growth for the Company
Hideo OkumuraGeneral Manager
Labor Relations Department
Personnel & Labor Relations Division
Introducing Work Systems without Constraints on Time and Place
Toppan views its employees as valuable “human assets” of the Company. The starting point for considering work style reform is thinking about what kind of working environments make employees feel comfortable and able to leverage their capabilities to the full. The remote work system that Toppan currently implements began with discussions at the committee to promote job satisfaction, which is held regularly with the labor union. Based on the ideas that came from the committee, we conducted telecommuting trials twice in 2019. We planned to conduct a third trial in March 2020, but with the declaration of a state of emergency in Japan due to the spread of COVID-19, we launched an emergency trial applicable in principle to all employees.
The repeated trials made it clear that productivity and adaptability when working from home differ depending on people’s capabilities and the type of work they handle. Based on those results, we reviewed existing systems and introduced new ones.
The key point of the revised systems is eliminating constraints on working location and time as far as possible. Making it possible for people to select more flexible work styles means that we can expect improved outputs, because employees can concentrate on their work in a way best suited to their particular circumstances. For example, it makes working easier for employees bringing up children. If we look at how employees are actually getting on, I feel that we are seeing an enhanced ability to accomplish work independently, which is leading to improvements in productivity.
Varied Working Styles Drive Diversity & Inclusion
The new normal that Toppan is envisaging for work styles is not simply accomplishing everything remotely. We also place a great deal of importance on the value of meeting in person. Some ideas only come from face-to-face interactions, and some innovation is only born out of the clash of different perspectives. My view, therefore, is that combining the two and enabling people to choose will be a vital perspective for work styles going forward.
We will also need to develop appraisal systems attuned to the new normal. With work styles that are not dependent on specific locations or times, the key factor of evaluation will not be time but output. As we further evolve work systems, we will also establish schemes to evaluate every employee fairly and accurately.
Putting in place various systems and environments to make diverse work styles possible is something that respects the diversity of employees and contributes to driving the diversity and inclusion that Toppan advocates. I intend to drive further evolution of such systems and environments while taking onboard the views of employees regarding what the Company can do to ensure that diverse individuals can come together to leverage their capabilities to the full and grow together with the Company.