January 28, 2014


Private Sector-Led Awarding Program Promotes Work-Life Balance

Keywords: Diversity Non-manufacturing industry University / Research institute 


The Promotion Committee for Work-life Balance consisting of volunteers from industry and academia in Japan announced on November 2013, the winners of the seventh Work-life Balance Award. This award program has been held since 2007. The purpose of the program is to hear from companies and local governments about their proactive approaches as well as effective activities, services and products in the activity of work-life balance promotion, and to honor them as part of an effort to realize a harmonious lifestyle.

Sumitomo Life Insurance Company (Tokyo, 42,098 employees) was one of the winners of the Award for Excellence. The company changed their long-hour work style by limiting the hours for personal computer use. It also aimed to balance child-care and office work for employees in the childcare leave period by using Facebook to exchange information. The other winner was Brother Sales (Aichi Pref., 376 employees), which was recognized for its efforts to develop human resources capable of autonomously managing office work and daily life, via the President visiting eight offices around the nation and having conversations with the employees.

The Hyakugo Bank (Mie Pref.), PFU Limited, a product developer for cloud and mobile services (Ishikawa Pref.), and the Fujita Health University Hospital's nursing department (Aichi Pref.) also received the Award for Excellence, while Saint-Works Corp., a management assistance provider in the nursing care business (Tokyo), received the Incentive Award.

A member of the promotion committee who worked on the screening noted that it has become more common for top management to lead actions. This demonstrates that voluntary efforts to attain work-life balance are underway.