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Telecommuting among ways workers cope with coronavirus

TOKYO >> A growing number of companies are encouraging their workers to telecommute as they try to minimize the spread of the coronavirus.

Telecommunications giant NTT Group has decided to promote teleworking and off-peak commuting among its 200,000 employees in Japan, a spokeswoman for the group said.

NTT has also instructed its workers to meet via teleconferences.

The decision came after an employee of another firm, who was working at a NTT office in Tokyo, was diagnosed with the coronavirus. Fourteen employees who had close contact with this person are working from home for 14 days.

Meanwhile, Yahoo Japan Corp. instructed its 6,500 employees to avoid holding large meetings or events where more than 100 people gather. The company also urged staff to make greater use of less-populated commuting routes, use masks and gloves when commuting and when dealing with guests, and to refrain from having nonessential meetings.

Yahoo allows employees with young children or who are pregnant to work remotely up to five days a month. The company has scrapped the limitation following the outbreak.

Yahoo also banned employees from having lunch outside of the office and urged them to use the company’s internal cafes.

Some 4,000 of GMO Internet Group’s employees, based in Tokyo, Osaka and Fukuoka, or 90% of its Japan staff, have been working from home since the outbreak.

The company has banned overseas trips and use of public transportation when commuting is necessary.

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