PayPay shifted to a “new workstyle” last September, allowing “Work from Anywhere, at Anytime” (WFA). Nearly six months after its launch, a number of issues associated with this work style have become apparent, and for this reason, we have decided to start a new series of articles featuring WFA to offer insight into solving the challenges of working remotely by sharing some creative and specific practices our colleagues have adopted. This time, we would like to introduce Jonathan, who moved from Tokyo to Shimoda City, Shizuoka Prefecture. Here are some of the highlights and challenges of moving to a rural area, with photos provided by Jonathan!
When you moved?
My wife and I explored the option of moving away from Tokyo upon learning that Work From Anywhere (WFA) would be deployed as a permit policy for PayPay employees. This resulted in nearly a year of researching available properties, schools, and overall locations in the Shimoda, Shizuoka area, and then finalized our relocation in February 2021.Why Shimoda?
My wife and I have been traveling to Shimoda since 2009 and continue to return multiple times a year for different activities. Shimoda offers a dynamic environment with beautiful mountains and beaches along with plenty of space to pursue both new and old passions. I enjoy being outdoors, whether I am surfing, running, or even working in the garden. I also value the social aspect of living in an area where things move at a different pace and therefore present the opportunities to get to know the individuals living in the same area. Also, the abundance of wildlife gives our kids the experience of living at a zoo with the endless sightings of monkeys, pheasants, wild boars, badgers, martens, and even the scary centipede (Makade). Additionally, the goal was to find a place that was easily accessible to Tokyo and my wife’s family. The biggest challenge was locating a property. Unlike Tokyo, there is not an endless supply of properties. Many local real-estate companies do not have their listings online and only work during the weekday or whenever they feel like opening. It took numerous trips and meetings with different real estate agents to gain the necessary insight into how we could find a property that everyone would enjoy.What you and your family valued most out of this moving ?
There are fewer distractions and therefore, we are presented with the ability to focus on life and family goals. My children have stated that they enjoy the ability to pursue hobbies that were not easily available, including surfing and horseback riding. My children also value the relationships they are building and the experiences they are gaining at school simply because it is not overcrowded and the educational focus differs from the city. Their entire school is made up of 43 kids and enjoy taking a field trip to the local beach or lessons on farming provides them with memories that give them a different outlook on life. My wife and I often discuss the positive changes that we have observed in the past few months, both from us individually and among our daughters.What WFA means to you?
Afternoon hiking trip.
WFA presents both challenges and opportunities; however, I think it is up to the individual as to how they evolve or face the realities of the environment. I enjoy the freedom and the flexibility. However, I also enjoy the structure and the social benefits of working on a team in a face-to-face environment. WFA continues to present me with opportunities to learn more about my strengths and weaknesses through the cycle of various tasks and actions I am accountable for each day.What you abandon from your Tokyo life, and what you gained from life in Shimoda?
Overall, I enjoy the space, tranquility, and the ability to pursue the outdoor activities that my family enjoys while living in Shimoda. I do not think about life in terms of what my family or I gave up to move away from Tokyo. We knew what we wanted and pursued it while accepting the differences. For me, each moment is simply a piece of the puzzle of life, which is full of both old and new adventures.
[ Lastly ] Shimoda City in Shizuoka Prefecture is located at the tip of the Izu Peninsula, surrounded by rich nature, and from Jonathan’s story, I got the impression that while he has a high level mission, he is making effective use of his WFA to achieve a good work-life balance.
Interview / editing: Takashi * The information given is as of the time of the interview. * The content of this article is confidential.