HITOKARA MEDIA INC. (located in Tokyo, Japan) develops their business from office relocation to real-estate brokerage. Their service ranges from office selections to interior design constructions based on their clients’ growth, employment and branding strategies. The company is challenging a unique style of working such as establishing a satellite office. We interviewed HITOKARA MEDIA INC. CEO, Junichiro Takai, about their interesting approaches.
Make “working” and “living” more interesting
Q. What is your business?
Takai: Under our business mission “Make ‘working’ and ‘living’ more interesting in both ‘urban’ and ‘rural’ areas, our service develops intervening agency for business offices and producing interior designs of a client’s office. Since Japanese economy has turn into the mature stage after the period of high economic growth, personal interest for values has been changing from ‘hard’ to ‘soft.’
As for our industry, which is real estate business, there is an increasing number of people who are more interested in the experience of living where they want to live rather than buying a real estate. However, they cannot find a satisfying job in those areas due to lack of job opportunities and a variety of job choices. That makes it harder for people to live where they want to live. Thus, we aim to solve this problem in order to provide the environment where people can work on what they do in urban areas even in rural areas.
Satellite office makes us a prototype of the working style we challenge
Q. What brought you establishing a satellite offices?
Takai: We wanted to act up to our mission by ourselves. With each different purpose, our company has two satellite offices now; one in Karuizawa in Nagano Prefecture, and the other in Minami-Town in Tokushima Prefecture. In the satellite office in Karuizawa, our members regularly work there as a staying office. This office is located in the area where a lot of companies establish satellite offices with the background of an increase number of households working in the urban area while living in Karuizawa. Our members can work flexibly at the office, only for a week for an example.
On the other hand, the satellite office in Tokushima is a periodic office, and we use it for a short term purpose such as an employee training and developing camp. We, as a company, has decided to establish our own satellite offices as a prototype of a new way of working and living, for we believe that satellite office can be one of the effective solutions which can connect urban and rural areas.
Q. Has there any change been since your establishment of satellite offices?
Takai: I think that you can feel good and bad about things only though your actual experience of recognizing the gap between the ideal and the situation you face. So, as we experience a new way of working and living, we gradually started to think our company mission as our own matter.
Office can create one company’s culture and value
Q. How do you communicate with those who are working remotely?
Takai: We are in the start-up phase in the business, and we hire more members every month starting this year. Thus, with the perspective of team building, it should be more productive to work in the same place. But since we have built the satellite offices for effective utilization in the future, we especially intend to focus on two things in our communication within the company.
First, we are trying to have more communication between the main office and satellite office. We share information in real time by using Skype and other chat tools. Secondly, we arrange opportunities to have face-to-face communication as a company once in a while. We hold a monthly meeting to confirm the progress and have discussions about our business together with the members who are at the satellite office in Karuizawa.
Q. What is unique about your office?
Takai: We see office as the environment where one company’s culture and value. Thus, we offer a plenty of personal working space for each members with a commanding view so that our members can work comfortably. Also, there is a commodious meeting space, and our members can hold an event they plan. Since we produce office interior designs for clients, we especially focus on creating an attractive office for ourselves in the first place which we want to come to work.