Leave the company between 3 and 4p.m., on Wednesdays. Essenes for creating family time are cooperation and understanding of my colleagues
Currently, I leave the company at 3 p.m. every Wednesday. My eldest son has qualified for FC Barcelona School Katsushika, so I take him there and pick him up each week. Initially, I really thought it would be difficult to leave that early. However, I wanted to put the work-life balance I had experienced in the US into practice in Japan and, above all, to respect the aspirations of my elder son, so I decided to talk things over with my senior manager. He willingly gave his permission, while my team leader said there should be no problems whatsoever so long as I did my best at work. Naturally, I didn't want to inconvenience any of my workplace colleagues, or sacrifice my work. The first thing I changed was the way I use my time. On Wednesdays I get to work by 07:30 a.m. and make sure to finish by 3:00 p.m.. During busy periods, there are inevitably times when I work during the time set aside for the children in the morning. The fact that I can work like this is thanks to the flex time scheme that Sony has adopted. It is extremely effective for people who wish to balance time spent on working and child rearing. Since it is also possible to telecommute sometimes, I can achieve this balance without cutting any corners or resorting to special measures.
I also make an effort to value in-company communications because there are times when I inconvenience the people around me in terms of scheduling because, for example, I cannot attend meetings after 15:00 on Wednesdays. When I cannot settle even minor matters by e-mail, I try to speak to people face-to-face whenever possible. I also work to break the ice and foster teamwork at departmental meetings, and create an atmosphere where we can all express our opinions with ease. Recently, the people around me seem to have come to completely accept this approach to work, so that on Wednesdays, some of them say, "Oh, this is the day you leave early," and make sure not to set up events after 15:00. I am well aware that this work-life balance is only possible because of the support of my superiors and colleagues.