In the fast-growing Chinese heavy commercial vehicle market, it has been claimed that the rule is “manufacturers cannot survive unless they exceed an annual production scale of 10,000 units.” However, Japanese automakers GAC Hino Motors Company (GHMC) and Qingling Motors have been producing a profit in the Chinese market even though their production scale is less than 10,000 units. This has been due to the adaptation of a Japanese production system that can maintain a constant productivity standard even when dealing with small-scale production. However, the success of this Japanese production system has been due to the development of a method of fostering multiskilled workers in accordance with the actual circumstances in China.
The workcation, wherein people combine work with vacation, is a concept that originated in the United States and Europe with the spread of information and communications technology (ICT). Although it is considered a workstyle for independent people as epitomized by freelancers and the like, in Japan, the term has come to convey something different from its original meaning, taking a unique direction in which some types of training programs are referred to as workcation. How did this change come about? This study, based on surveys of three regions, examines the origin and development of satellite office workcation and learning workcation to ascertain the following. (1) In Japan, people with workcation are assumed to be employees. (2) Therefore, the workcation is heavily influenced by local governments' intentions (wanting to associate with exchange populations) and companies' intentions (it is difficult to dispatch employees to outlying areas without a work-related purpose). (3) Therefore, the workcation has evolved into something that aims to enhance creativity, learning, and introspection through close ties with communities.
COVID-19 has accelerated the spread of telecommuting in Japan. In past studies regarding telecommuting, it was proved to be the result of i-deals, so it was discussed in the context of location flexibility i-deals (LFi-deals). The spread of COVID-19, however, has given rise to semi-compulsory telecommuting. Therefore, this study takes three groups: Group A, which continues to work at the office as before; Group B, which has started to telecommute (inexperienced telecommuters) so that telecommuting is regarded as semi-compulsory; and Group C, which has experience with telecommuting (experienced telecommuters) so that telecommuting is the result of making LFi-deals; and investigates the relationship that telecommuting has with the degree of self-determination (DSD) and productivity. Our analysis found that between Group B and Group C, which were both telecommuting, both DSD and productivity were significantly higher for Group C which has LFi-deals compared with Group B, for which telecommuting is semi-compulsory. However, DSD and productivity were higher for Group B than for Group A, so it is possible that starting to telecommute leads to more LFi-deals, a greater DSD, and higher productivity.