PayPay Inside-Out People and Culture

WFA × Nomadic Living


About WFA series

Work From Anywhere At Anytime“(WFA) program was introduced over a year ago. In this “WFA Special” series, we offer insights into solving the challenges of working remotely by sharing some practices our colleagues have adopted.

In this issue, Kita-san, who lives out of Tokyo where he can change his workplace regularly, gives us a peek into his daily life.
Here are some of the highlights and challenges he has encountered since he joined the company using the WFA system, along with some photos of the locale!

Masashi Kita

Backend Engineer

I work as a software engineer on a team that develops features to facilitate payments using PayPay.

Where do you currently live?

Since the beginning of this year, I’ve been living in Hakuba-mura, Kitaazumi-gun, in Nagano. I’m originally from Tokyo, and I continue returning to Tokyo once in a while, then move to different places. Since the establishment of the WFA, I’ve been changing where I live every few months.

Mountains seen from Hakuba-mura

When one thinks of Hakuba-mura, winter activities like skiing come to mind. How do you choose the places you move to?

I love snowboarding, so in the winter I live close to snowy mountains and enjoy snowboarding. Last winter I lived in Echigo-Yuzawa.

After living in a town for a few months and enjoying daily life there, I move on to the next place that suits my interests or the season. While I would love to return to some of the areas I’ve lived in, there are still so many places I’ve never been to, so I would like to continue to move to new locations. I’m interested in the daily life of a locality, so I prefer to walk around the neighborhood and visit stores rather than go to tourist attractions.

In some cases, simply living in that place may also serve a purpose. Spring is a difficult season for me because I have hay fever, but last spring I spent time in Hokkaido to avoid the pollen, so I didn’t have to suffer from hay fever. I’m considering going to Okinawa this year for the same reason.

At Beppu Kannawa Onsen
Cow walking on Mt. Aso

Where do you usually work?

I usually work in the house I live in at the time.
Living in an unfamiliar place tends to take up a lot of time in itself, so I check in advance to see if anything extra time-consuming is likely to occur, so that my work isn’t affected. Basically, I live in a room that is already furnished. I check the photos on a website or on vacation rental sites to see if there are desks and chairs and such, and to see if I can create a comfortable working environment before deciding to live in the room.

When it’s difficult to work from home, or if there is a coworking space nearby which the company contracted, such as WeWork or NewWork, I may use it. Living in a guesthouse or working in a shared office is an interesting way to connect with new people.

Private room at the guesthouse in Onomichi where I lived for two months
A stray cat tries to break in by opening a window, but I notice and it pretends to be unaware

What is the best thing about working remotely?

To be able to live as I do now, with no restrictions on where to work. Also, as I move from place to place throughout Japan, I run into colleagues who live in those cities. When I was in Hakata, I met a member in my team who lives there, and in Sapporo I met a colleague from another team. With Covid-19 making it difficult to gather at the Tokyo office, it was an interesting experience to meet people from the company in a distant location.

What are you careful about with remote work?

As I often communicate with people overseas, I noticed that I sometimes live like I’m in a different time zone. So I try to live as much as possible in Japan time.

Is there anything you would like to share with people living far from Tokyo who are considering moving to PayPay?

You can work regardless of where you live because of the remote work system. If you are interested in moving to a rural area, it might be a good idea to do a trial move for about a month and actually experience life there.

What are your favorite spots in the cities you have visited so far?

Onomichi: Time flows peacefully, with mountains, the sea, and islands nearby.
Sapporo: I was able to live there with barely any issues since there was no pollen and the city was convenient.

[Editor’s note]

How was Kita-san’s “Nomadic Living”?
It was impressive to hear that he is working in places that suit the seasons and his hobbies, utilizing vacation rental sites and other services, while expanding his circle of friends. It makes me want to follow the cherry blossom front too!
I hope you will use this as a reference when envisioning what it would be like to work at PayPay.

Thanks to: Masashi Kita / Editor: Kona (PayPay Inside-Out Editorial Team) / Translation: Language Communication Team / Translation Editor: Justin
*Employees’ affiliations are as of the time of the interview.