Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. will introduce a workplace improvement initiative called “Happy Friday” in Japan, in which all employees working outside the company’s manufacturing plants will be encouraged to leave the office at 15:00 on the last Friday of every month. The initiative, which will launch this week, aims to further improve employees’ health and the quality of time spent at both work and home.
Since the formation of the Renault-Nissan Alliance in 1999, Nissan has been actively positioning diversity and maintenance of work-life balance as core company strengths. Nissan was among the first to carry out workplace reforms in a global manner, with the goal of ensuring that employees with varying life needs are able to maximize their productivity in a global business environment.
In 2015, Nissan kicked off the “Happy 8” program to further promote workstyle revolution. By encouraging employees in Japan to work eight hours a day, the company aims to increase individual and organizational productivity and in ensure that a fair work-life balance is maintained.
Introducing the new initiative, Nissan Co-CEO Hiroto Saikawa said, “As a key element of our ongoing globalization and diversity programs, workstyle revolution has helped Nissan cater to the diverse working styles of employees, and has encouraged a fair work-life balance. We will continue to make efforts to create an environment where employees with varying life needs, for example those dealing with child-rearing and nursing care, can draw upon diverse sets of values and make the most of their potential, while playing an active role in improving our global working conditions.”
Nissan’s workstyle revolution to date include:
- Promoting the use of annual leave – On average, employees take over 18 days paid time off per year. This represents an increase of roughly 40 percent in the past fifteen years, and places Nissan at the highest level among Japanese companies.
- Super Flextime – Nissan introduced flextime without core hours in 1994, well ahead of most other companies.
- Work-at-Home Program -The company’s Work-at-Home Program, introduced in 2006, is now available to all non-manufacturing employees. About 4,000 employees used the program in fiscal 2015, and Nissan aims to increase the number to 6,000 in fiscal 2017.
- Family Support Leave – Introduced in 2008, Nissan’s Family Support Leave program caters to employees with responsibilities such as childcare and eldercare. About 1,700 employees used the program in fiscal 2015.
- Onsite daycare – Nissan currently has three onsite daycare centers, the first of which opened in 2005 at Nissan Technical Center in Atsugi City, Kanagawa Prefecture. Currently, a total of 500 employees use the daycare centers. In 2017, Nissan’s first onsite daycare at a production facility will open at the Oppama Plant in Yokosuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture.