Creating a Healthy Working Environment

Creating a Healthy Working Environment Creating a Healthy Working Environment

In accordance with our basic mental and physical health policy, we aim to maintain and improve the health of our employees. Furthermore, as the physical and mental wellbeing of each individual employee is the driving force behind realizing both company and personal dreams and ambitions, we have positioned the maintenance and improvement of employee health as an important management issue in our Health Management Declaration.

  1. *
    SB Atwork Co., Ltd. is a subsidiary of SoftBank Corp.

Health management declaration

We want to be a group brimming with energy in which everyone enjoys good mental and physical health

The most important foundation for tackling this new stage of the information revolution and realizing continuing growth is to be a group in which each individual employee is healthy in both mind and body and always brimming with energy. In signature SoftBank style, we will actively utilize cutting edge AI and information and communication technologies to promote health management that maintains and enhances the wellbeing of our employees and their families.

Junichi Miyagawa
President & CEO, SoftBank Corp.
September 2018

Philosophy and policy

Health management philosophy

Our health management philosophy also forms part of our Rules of Employment.

(Excerpt from Rules of Employment)

Chapter 6 Health Management

(Health management philosophy)
Article 75
The Company shall be managed on the philosophy that the “most important foundation is to be a group in which each individual employee is healthy in both mind and body and always brimming with energy.”

(Employee health maintenance and improvement)
Article 76
The Company shall take the appropriate measures to maintain and improve the physical and mental health of employees and establish a safe and comfortable work environment. Employees shall cooperate with measures taken by the Company and work to maintain and improve their own health.

The basic mental and physical health policy outline

  • Support the wellbeing of all SoftBank Group employees so all work aspirations can be achieved with a sound body and mind.
  • Work to create a safe and comfortable work environment in which each employee can reach their full potential.
  • Observe compliance related to occupational health and safety laws to become a highly trusted corporate group amongst internal and external stakeholders.

Promotion system

  • Promotion system
CHRO As the person with ultimate responsibility for human resources, the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) oversees the provision of a healthy working environment and the management of occupational health and safety.
Wellness Promotion Office A dedicated team that reports directly to the CHRO and is tasked with promoting an environment in which all employees are able to enjoy good mental and physical health in their work.
The office plans and implements health management measures in partnership with the Wellness Center of group company SB Atwork Corp.
SB Atwork Corp
Wellness Center
Staffed by qualified specialists, the Wellness Center of SB Atwork Corp. supports occupational health and safety and provides somewhere for employees to go about their mental or physical health. These specialist staff include industrial physicians for internal medicine and mental health, public health nurses, councelors, and health keepers (masseurs).
Each Office
Health and Safety Committee
Maintaining the safety and health of everyone in the workplace is an intrinsic part of our business activities. A Health and Safety Committee has been set up at each office with more than 50 employees to coordinate the provision of a safe and welcoming work environment. The committees also play a part in facilitating workplace improvements by looking at what other workplaces are doing about health and safety and by publicizing their own good practices.
Peer supporters Staff volunteers who, along with their regular work, also support the mental and physical health of other close colleagues in their workplace.
EAP The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) supports the mental and physical health of staff along with productivity improvement.

Broad-ranging health management KPIs

Broad-ranging KPIs are defined that cover work engagement as well as mental and physical health. We utilize the PDCA cycle to make ongoing improvements to our practices, with these indicators being monitored in terms of three different approaches: health management, safe and welcoming work environments, and health maintenance and improvement.

Broad-ranging health management KPIs

Specific numerical targets

Health management targets

FY17 FY18 FY19 FY20 FY21 FY22 FY23 FY24
Results Goal
Presenteeism*1 - 81.0% 80.0% 81.0% 85.0% 85.0% 86.0% 90.0%
or more
Absenteeism*2 4.9days 4.6days 4.6days 3.8days 4.0days 4.1days 4.4days 4.5days
or less
  1. *1
    FY23: 12,752 people measured, response rate 54.0%. Up to FY20, this was determined from the health awareness survey data on how often business efficiency was impeded by ill-health, with responses of or “1 or 2 days a month” or “almost never” deemed to indicate presenteeism. From 2021 onwards, the number was obtained from the University of Tokyo Single-Item Presenteeism Question (SPQ).
  2. *2
    FY23: 20,823 people measured, response rate 100%. Absence or leave due to illness or injury

Monitoring indicators

FY17 FY18 FY19 FY20 FY21 FY22 FY23 FY24
Results Goal
Ratio of Positive Findings in the Regular Health Examination 51.9% 54.7% 55.1% 57.9% 57.9% 56.7% 57.1% 56.6% or less
BMI+Risk factors*3 - - 20.2% 22.2% 21.3% 21.2% 21.2% 20.2% or less
Lipids (LDL cholesterol) - - 24.8% 28.2% 27.7% 25.1% 25.2% 24.2% or less
Smoking rate 30.6% 29.9% 29.7% 26.8% 25.8% 24.7% 24.5% 23.5% or less
Sleep restfulness 59.8% 62.5% 62.9% 71.3% 71.1% 70.8% 68.9% 70.4%
or more
Overtime working hours (Average of general employees) 26.5h 24.9h 24.2h 27.2h 27.0h 24.9h 24.9h Check the achievements
Stress check
/ Psychological lively scale*4
- - 105 110 111 110 112 105 or more
Stress check
/ Comprehensive health risk*5
- - 89 87 85 85 85 90 or less
  1. *3
    Risk factors: Blood pressure, lipids, liver function, or blood sugar
  2. *4
    FY23 Number of people measured: 19,814, response rate 92.3%. A score indicating the level of vitality of individuals and workplaces. Includes elements of workplace cohesion and work engagement. Based on the data from a survey of 0.5 million workers conducted by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in 2010, and expressed as a deviation from the national average of 100.
    Higher scores indicate higher levels of vitality of individuals and workplaces.
  3. *5
    FY23 Number of people measured: 19,814, response rate 92.3%. A score indicating the impact of workplace stress on individual health. Based on the data from a survey of 25,000 workers at 332 workplaces nationwide conducted by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in 2000. Lower scores indicate less negative impacts on employee health.

Other indicators

FY17 FY18 FY19 FY20 FY21 FY22 FY23 FY24
Results Goal
Regular health examination rate 99.7% 99.9% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Follow-up examination rate 55.5% 57.0% 53.8% 58.7% 64.0% 73.1%*6 TBD 80.0%
or more
Completion Rate for Specific Health Examination*7 30.1% 31.6% 32.9% 31.5% 57.7% 50.2% 52.2% 60.0%
or more
Stress check consultation rate 89.4% 90.1% 91.0% 84.7% 86.1% 87.2% 92.3% 95.0%
or more
Ratio of employees with high stress 12.9% 12.7% 13.3% 11.2% 11.8% 12.2% 13.1% 13.0%
less than
Rate of taking paid vacation 75.1% 76.5% 72.2% 61.8% 70.1% 77.3% 77.7% 70.0%
or more
  1. *6
    As of July 13, 2023
  2. *7
    As the data for Completion Rate for Specific Health Examination relates to the results for all subjects after ongoing support is completed, the target is shown along with the actual result for the previous fiscal year.

Three actions

We are undertaking three specific actions: Health management, safe and welcoming workplaces, and health maintenance and improvement.

Health management

Encouragement for health examinations

Encouragement for health examinations

To facilitate the early detection and treatment of illness, we encourage employees to have regular health examinations and are working to educate them about the importance of doing so.

In addition to the CHRO sending an e-mail to all employees stressing the importance of health examinations and rechecks, any employees who have not yet had their examinations are reminded to do so. Steps are also being taken to reinforce this message by enlisting the aid of the human resources staff responsible for the department and utilizing tools to remind not only the employees who have yet to have their examinations but also their supervisors.

Thanks to these measures, 100% coverage has been achieved for these regular health examinations since FY19. Moreover, the total sum spent on health examinations during FY23 was around 180 million yen.

FY18 FY19 FY20 FY21 FY22 FY23
Regular health examination rate 99.9% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%

High-risk employees and those requiring follow-up examinations

Follow-up examination rate 73.1%*1
Rate of consultation with industrial physician or public health nurse 100%
Treatment rate for high-risk patients 100%

Since April 2022, the time required for examinations has been treated as working hours and employees reimbursed for their travel costs so as to create an environment where it is easy for employees to get health checks or follow-up examinations (repeat check-ups or detailed check-ups). A target of 80% has also been set for follow-up examinations in an effort to catch and treat ill-health early.

For those employees who are found by the examination to be in the high-risk group, the industrial physician and public health nurses provide health advice such as recommending by e-mail or through a consultation that they get their health checked at a medical institution.

  1. *1
    As of July 13, 2023

Encouragement for women's health, cancer, and dental examinations

Depending on patient age and gender, cancer and women's health examinations are conducted to facilitate the early detection and treatment of cancer and diseases specific to women.

We encourage employees to have dental checkups guided by the health insurance association so that they can maintain good dental health.

Encouragement for stress checks

Encouragement for stress checks

As part of our mental healthcare provision, we encourage all employees to take regular stress checks using the Wellness Eye system provided by group company SB AtWork Corp. This encourages self-care that helps prevent damage to mental wellbeing and has been useful in improving work place conditions.

Stress check consultation rate 92.3%

Safe and welcoming work environments

Establishment of a Wellness Center

Employees are given the opportunity to consult about their physical and mental health with public health nurses or industrial physicians specializing in internal or psychological medicine who are made available in partnership with the Wellness Center operated by SB Atwork Corp.

Counseling room
Counseling room

Qualified counselors are available to provide career counselling or to talk one-on-one about concerns such as work or relationships.

Massage room
Massage room

Massage is available to rejuvenate staff and prevent the problems that come from PC and other deskwork, including eyestrain, stiffness in the neck or back, and lower back pain.

Offering mentoring
in the workplace
with the peer supporter system

Offering mentoring in the workplace with the peer supporter system

We are introducing a “peer supporter system” in which employees who hold occupational counseling or health and safety related qualifications may volunteer as accessible counselors within the workplace after passing a specific selection process and receiving training.

Infectious disease control

Measures are being taken to prevent the spread of influenza and other infectious diseases. Staff can get their influenza vaccinations at work, including any contract staff who want to participate. During the COVID-19 pandemic, antibody testing was conducted for all employees and the company had its own program of saliva PCR testing for staff. This was accompanied by workplace vaccination both within the company and farther afield.

COVID-19 Response

Smart office environment

The company headquarters relocated to Takeshiba in January 2021 to reinforce business continuity planning (BCP) and facilitate further working style reforms. The site provides a community-style workplace that embodies the concept of “Smart & Fun!”, enabling all employees to perform at their best. A variety of health-affirming measures have also been adopted at the offices to provide a safe and welcoming work environment.

Floors linked by internal stairways
Floors linked by internal stairways

Internal stairways have been installed between three floors to create an open and flexible workplace that allows for a wide variety of working styles, also helping employees to get more physical exercise as they work.

Exercise equipment
Exercise equipment

To promote health and relaxation, exercise equipment and rocking chairs are provided in a corner of the floor for use during break times.

Flexible working arrangements

Encouraging a clear distinction between work and private life

To make it easier to take annual paid leave, employees are encouraged to take off workdays during the Golden Week holidays or that fall between a weekend and a public holiday. The company also encourages a clear distinction between work time and private time, with one day each week being designated a “Go Home on Time Day” and support for participation in the Premium Friday campaign for leaving early on the last Friday of each month.

Introducing a work-interval system

To ensure that employees have enough time for their daily lives and sleep, we are introducing a “work-interval system” which establishes a set rest period from the time that employees finish work until the next time that they start work. All employees are required to take 10 or more consecutive hours of rest from when they finish work until they start working again.

Support for maintaining employment while undergoing cancer treatment

Outpatient Care/Cancer Treatment Leave* is a system established for employees who are unable to work due to cancer-related hospital visits, treatments, and feeling unwell the day after treatment. This system helps create an easy working environment for employees, balancing their treatment and work life.

  1. *
    May be taken as accrued annual leave or Special unpaid leave

Preventing workplace harassment

The SoftBank provides awareness training through topic-based seminars and e-learning for all workers with the goal of ensuring a healthy and safe workplace free of all forms of harassment. Should a harassment incident occur, a primary contact point has been established so appropriate measures can be taken as quickly as possible. As part of that response, a counselor will first listen to what happened, and then discuss next steps with the employee. All consultations are handled with complete confidentiality.

Monthly Engagement Survey

By answering a total of 20 questions (about 3 minutes) on work, life, and health on a monthly basis, both organizations and employees can measure changes in their own condition. Furthermore, the survey is intended to facilitate timely communication among supervisors and members.

We initially introduced a “Pulse Survey” developed in-house in October 2019, and starting from August 2023, we have revamped and implemented it as the “Monthly Engagement Survey”.

Health maintenance and improvement

We have highlighted six themes for improving employee health: Improving eating habits, Encouraging exercise habits, Reducing the ratio of smokers, Improving mental healthcare, Improving women's health, and Improving health literacy. Support includes providing information and venues for activities to occur.

Seminars have also been held, with most of these taking place online as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19. Archived copies are also available on the company intranet site for employees who were unable to attend the live events. From 2021, October has been designated Health Promotion Month, with online seminars and other events held jointly with group company LY Corporation.

1) Improving eating habits

Main efforts
Improving eating habits
  • Diet program with genetic testing
  • Training video “Health management (including alcohol consumption) for workers”
  • Recipes for healthy eating
  • Provision of healthy options and sale of lunches that are certified “smart meals”*1 (staff canteen)
  1. *1
    Smart meals are nutritionally balanced meals containing healthy ingredients. The concept is part of an initiative by the Healthy Meal & Dietary Environment Consortium aimed at promoting healthy eating.
Example activity
Description Diet program with genetic testing
Challenge Across all employee age groups, the prevalence of symptoms (positive findings in health examination) tends to increase year by year, with the highest prevalence being found in lipids and BMI. Many people in their 30s and 40s exhibit risk factors and, if left untreated, these lead to a higher risk of serious disease.
  • The program is used in tandem with Genofit Maps, a business currently under consideration for participation in SoftBank InnoVenture, an in-house system for the commercialization of new ventures.
  • The aim is to get people to change their eating habits to reduce weight and BMI.
  • Program overview (Genofit Maps)
    An order-made healthcare service customized to each participant, combining genetic testing, dietary advice from a nutritionist, and an app for health management
    • -
      Participants initially undergo genetic testing
    • -
      Based on the results, the supervising nutritionist designs a personalized balanced diet (which is linked to the app)
    • -
      Participants record their weight, BMI, and daily meals on the app every day (for three months)
    • -
      Participants get feedback from the supervising nutritionist to improve their eating habits
    • -
      During the course of the program, participants receive advice from their supervising nutritionist via online consultations
  • A total of 420 people participated during FY21 and FY22, with more than 80% achieving a reduction in weight and BMI.
  • Weight loss tended to be higher among the 51 participants who entered data into the app every day over the 90 day period from the start of the program
    • -
      Mean weight: -3.6kg, Mean BMI: -1.3
    • -
      Greatest weight loss of any participant: -14.8kg, BMI: -4.5
Mean weight loss Mean BMI reduction All participants Consecutive days of app data entry Max.
  1. *
    Total of events held in 2021 and 2022

2) Encouraging exercise habits

Main efforts
Encouraging exercise habits
  • Yoga sessions before morning company meeting
  • Morning and evening yoga sessions via Zoom (average participant satisfaction rating: > 90%)
  • Walking events (annual spring and fall events have been held since 2021, with more than 4,050 people participating from 2021 to 2022)
  • Stretching videos by health keepers
  • Employees able to get simple physical strength measurements or do their own self-checks at home
  • Encouragement of company club activities
Example activity [1]
Description Yoga sessions before morning company meeting
Challenge An increase in employees working from home due to COVID-19 means they are getting less physical exercise in their daily lives
  • A yoga session is held prior to the company's monthly morning meeting, led by an employee who is a qualified yoga instructor.
  • Employees from all over Japan participate via live video, including the President and other senior management. This highlights the importance of health management and helps get people into the habit of exercise.
  • Additional morning yoga sessions are held once a month, and evening sessions every two months.

The monthly sessions have been broadcast live since October 2021.

The monthly sessions have been broadcast live since October 2021.
The monthly sessions have been broadcast live since October 2021.
Example activity [2]
Description HELPO walkathon for all employees with a target of 8,000 steps or more
Challenge As with the yoga initiative, the concern is that the rise of working from home due to COVID-19 has led to people getting less physical exercise in their lives, with workplace communication also suffering.
  • A walking event aimed at getting people into the habit of exercise and fostering workplace communication
  • Events are held twice a year in spring and fall. Participants can enter personal or team challenges with a target of averaging 8,000 steps or more over a month-long period.
  • Annual spring and fall events since 2021
  • More than 4,050 people participated from 2021 to 2022 (close to a nine-fold increase)
    • -
      Along with comments about feeling fitter, people also spoke of the event's mental benefits in the form of more communication with other staff, sleeping better, and feeling happier.
Number of participants in walking event

3) Reducing the ratio of smokers

Main efforts
Reducing the ratio of smokers
  • Ban on smoking during working hours (every day since April 2020)
  • Closure of workplace smoking rooms (73 such rooms closed at end of September 2019)
  • Training video “Smoking and Health”
  • E-mail magazine and anti-smoking column
  • Subsidies for cost of smoking cessation programs
  • Smoking cessation advice from public health nurses
Example activity
Description Ban on smoking during working hours
Challenge The smoking rate is in the 30% range, higher than the national average, with the rate being especially high among employees who work outside the office.
  • In an effort to prevent passive smoking, action is being taken to reduce smoking by 1% annually, to below 20% by 2030, as in the SDGs
  • Introduced progressively, beginning in April 2019
    • -
      From April 2019: Ban on smoking during working hours once a month (on Premium Friday)
    • -
      From October 2019: Ban on smoking during working hours once a month (on Premium Friday) and once a week (Go Home on Time Day)
    • -
      From April 2020: Ban on smoking during all working hours
    • -
      From October 2020: Closure of workplace smoking rooms at all SoftBank offices (approximately 70 locations)
  • Progressive introduction of above ban on smoking during working hours accompanied by provision of anti-smoking patches and gum and assistance with smoking cessation programs
Progressive introduction of above ban on smoking during working hours accompanied by provision of anti-smoking patches and gum and assistance with smoking cessation programs
Results Reduction in smoking rate from 30% range to 20% range (FY16: 31.3% → FY23: 24.5%)
Smoking rate FY16

4) Improving mental healthcare

Main efforts
Improving mental healthcare
  • Sleep seminars (attended by approximately 1,600 people)
  • Training videos “Self-care, line care, and more” and “Health management (including alcohol consumption) for workers”
  • Discount on cost of sleep apnea syndrome (SAS) examination
  • Department-specific training
    • -
      Line care for supervisors and self-care for ordinary employees
    • -
      Communication skills (listening, assertion)
    • -
      Motivation & stress management, harassment
    • -
      Self-directed career growth, preventing reoccurrence for managers with staff taking time off for mental health issues
Example activity
Description Sleep seminars
Challenge While the increase in working from home due to COVID-19 has led to improvements in sleeping time, an increasing number of employees are experiencing issues with sleep quality. To address this, we have teamed up with group company LY Corporation to run online sleep seminars.
Details Sleep seminars run by celebrity (attended by approximately 1,600 people)

20% increase in the number of people responding to the question “Do you get enough rest from sleeping?” with “Yes” or “To some extent”
(59% prior to seminar → 79% one month after seminar)

Percentage responding “Yes” or “To some extent” 20% improvement

5) Improving women's health

Main efforts
Improving women's health
  • Health seminar to support the empowerment of women (attended by approximately 350 people)
  • Seminars on women's health as an issue for everyone (four seminars attended by approximately 500 people)
  • Femtech working group and running of a trial
  • Training video for management staff “Health management for women in the workplace”
  • Column on supporting women's wellbeing
Available programs
Healthcare App “HELPO” Online medical consultation and Health consultation chat
Women's health support service (HELPO actio+) Purchase femtech item, read columns, and more
Discounts on medical testing Testing kits are available at a discount
Optional women's health checks Additional checkups are available, partly funded by the company
Leave system Leave is available for a wide range of reasons, including menstruation, maternity, and childcare
Counseling Female industrial physicians are available for consultation
Seminars Past seminars have covered topics such as menstruation and menopause
e-Learning Coverage of topics that all workers should know about
Column on supporting wellbeing for women Coverage of topics that is useful for both women and men
Example activity
Description Seminar by women's health specialist
Challenge To empower women in the workforce, a target has been set of increasing the percentage of management roles filled by women to 15% (twice the current level) by 2030 and to 20% by 2035 (triple the current level). To achieve this, we believe it is vital that opportunities be provided at which male as well as female employees can address issues of women's health in order to provide a workplace in which women can thrive.

1. Health seminar to support empowerment of women by female health specialist Miho Takao

  • Understanding the importance of workplace considerations for empowerment of women
  • Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Symptoms that occur during menopause

2. Seminar on women's health as an issue for everyone by Miho Takao and Yoshiko Onishi, two specialists in the field

  • Menopause: Symptoms that occur during menopause, Therapies and self-care
  • PMS and menstrual cramps: How to deal with menstruation, Therapies and self-care

1. Health seminar to support empowerment of women by Miho Takao: 2 days

  • Attendance: approximately 350 people, NPS satisfaction score: 76
Health seminar to support empowerment of women by Miho Takao

2. Seminar on women's health as an issue for everyone: 4 days total

  • Attendance: approximately 500 people, average satisfaction: 90% range
Seminar on women's health as an issue for everyone

6) Improving health literacy

Main efforts
Proactive dissemination of information about health management
Proactive dissemination of information about health management

We have produced the “Five-Minute Primer on Health Management at SoftBank” and made it available to employees as a central resource covering information such as the company's approach to health management, the things being done to maintain and improve employee health, and where to go for assistance. The health literacy level in the 2022 Health Awareness Survey was 24%*.

  1. *
    percentage of respondents who answered “I think it's very high” or “I think it's high”
Wellness Eye Study Video Learning Provided
Wellness Eye Study Video Learning Provided

SB AtWork Corp., our group company which offers Wellness Eye Study Video Learning, provides video content to all employees. It features a full range of healthcare-related content that is useful for self-care and life-care, including topics such as mental health, harassment, cancer prevention, and smoking.

HELPO Healthcare App Provided
HELPO Healthcare App Provided

We have introduced the HELPO app offered by our group company Healthcare Technologies Corp.
With the HELPO app, users can make appointments and manage results for saliva PCR testing and vaccinations, conduct online health and medical consultations, search for hospitals, and purchase over-the-counter medicine.

External evaluation

Selected under the “Health & Productivity Stock Selection” for two years in a row and recognized the “Certified Health & Productivity Management Outstanding Organizations Recognition Program (White 500)” for the sixth consecutive year

White 500

SoftBank was selected under the “Health & Productivity Stock Selection” for two years in a row as an enterprise that is thinking about employee health care from a management perspective and actively engaging in health management.
We were recognized as a White 500 enterprise for the sixth consecutive year.

Obtained the highest rank of “DBJ Health Management Rating”

DBJ Health Management Rating

We received the highest rating in the “DBJ Health Management Rating*” conducted by the Development Bank of Japan, Inc.

  1. *
    This is the world's first financing menu that introduces the “Health Management Rating” method, which certifies and selects companies that have excellent initiatives for employee health. In the certification phase, it evaluates the organizational management systems and the implementation of various health-related measures aimed at maintaining and promoting employees' physical and mental health, creating a comfortable working environment, and the initiatives to utilize and improve employee engagement.
  2. *
    Here is the certificate

Certified as “Sports Yell Company” for six years running

Sports Yell Company

We have been certified by the Japan Sports Agency as a “Sports Yell Company”, meaning a company that makes an effort to get employees involved in sport to improve their health.
This is the sixth consecutive year that our company has been certified as “Bronze”.