April 11, 2013


Japanese Cabinet Certifies Six Best Practices for Promoting Work-Life Balance

Keywords: Government Well-Being 

The Japanese Cabinet Office selected six best practices for improving work-life balance through changes in work style, and certified them on December 11, 2012, as the first winners of "Kaeru no Hoshi" ("Stars for Change" in Japanese). The certification is part of a campaign on work-life balance conducted by the Cabinet Office since 2008 under the slogan "Kaeru! Japan" (kaeru has two meanings in Japanese: "to change" and "frog"). Considering that the efforts of individual departments within organizations are important for improving the efficiency of daily work and reducing long working hours, the Cabinet Office certifies not entire organizations but work teams within organizations.

One of the six teams certified was Medical Headquarters Team of Astra Zeneca K.K in Osaka City. After setting numerical targets based on an analysis of a survey of all team members, the team succeeded in improving the utilization rate of annual paid vacation and the percentage of teleworking hours and reducing overtime working hours. In another case at the Center for Leadership Education & Research of Ochanomizu University in Tokyo, female researchers with children were provided with assistants to help them make time for research and acquire a research budget.

The Cabinet Office will publicize the efforts of the certified teams to promote tangible efforts at companies and organizations in Japan.

Related JFS article:
[Sustainability College] Aiming at Best Individual Work-Life Balance for Everyone
Utsunomiya City Hall Launches Twice-a-Month Lights-Out Project
Japan Adopts Work-Life Balance Charter