Nine Months into the WFA workstyle: What Have We Learned?

It has been nine months since we introduced the new way of working, “Work From Anywhere at Anytime (WFA)” in September 2020, declaring that we would not go back to our old style.

Two Work Modes: Home and Office

Offering Us a Variation in How We Work, Like an On/Off Switch

fellow colleagues say, “When the state of emergency is lifted, let’s get together at the office,” or “Let’s do this when we get together.” Now that working from home has become the norm and time spent working fully online without meeting colleagues in person has become mainstream, the office has become a “special place” to go only when there is a specific purpose such as team building, intimate communication, or discussion on special topics.

Although we usually work remotely from our respective locations and our colleagues are present beyond our screens, we still feel the need to “share” our reactions and the air that flows among us in person. Drawing on the same physical whiteboard and discussing our hearts out face to face is another desire we harbor. So, we say, “The next time we gather at the office, let’s do something that can only be done at the office. If we can do it remotely, there’s no need to go to the office.” Having two different places to work, our home and the office, gives us the opportunity to balance-out how we work, just like the two sides of a switch. You could also say that we can change how we work because we have two places to choose from. Being able to meet at the office and get together with fellow colleagues has become a “special occasion” unlike when we went to the office every day. WFA has given us a way to change how we work in the sense that we long for the next “special occasion” while we wait patiently working remotely.

Refining the Role of the “Office”

A “Special Place” for a Special Purpose

When implementing WFA, PayPay redefined the concept of the office and made a deliberate decision to keep the office. We made sure that our office served as a place for teams that feared they would fall out of touch with each other, or for international employees to not feel alone in Japan.

The office, which was redefined as a “place where everyone gathers,” was intended to become a place where people can discuss and exchange ideas in a lively atmosphere and create new value. Our office was kept with this in mind and is indeed becoming a “special place” where fellow colleagues gather for meaningful purposes.

The Quest to Find Our Own Remote Workstyle

Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture (Photo by an employee)
Freed from Location-Bound Constraints, Our Lives and Work Now Has More Freedom

For a long time, we were not able to move far from our offices, limiting how we work and where we could live. However, WFA has freed us from geographical and time constraints, enabling an environment to work from anywhere in Japan – even Hokkaido and Kyushu. We had traditionally been tied down by where we lived and felt somewhat restricted in how we live our lives. But now that we are liberated from this restraint, we can focus on the quality of life and work, allowing us to live our ideal lives.

Edited by: Az (PayPay Inside-Out Editorial Team) *Employees’ affiliations are as of the time of the interview.
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