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What Does It Mean By Working at SOPHOLA?

SOPHOLA has been already incorporating (some) remote work and three days a week into our workstyle since it was founded before COVID-19 came to influence the way we work. Today, I would like to spell out what I have learned about the “modern workstyle” that I have noticed in the last two and a half years.

In Japan (when I was a kid), it is valued to do the same as other kids do from an early age. For example, a kid who understands a 45-minute lesson in 5 minutes must sit and do the same as other kids who need the full minutes to understand the contents. For the former kid, he needs to listen endlessly to “boring stories” that he already understands for the remaining 40 minutes of the lesson time, and from an adult’s point of view, he would feel “time is wasted”. And I think that “this is the same in the adult world.”

SOPHOLA is open from 9am to 6pm (1-hour lunch break) and we work 32 hours a week. Since there is basically no overtime, I think that working hours are probably 20-40% shorter than those of general Japanese companies. I told my employees that “working at SOPHOLA” means “in Nagano, in this little amount of time, to be more successful than Tokyo, other big cities, and the world’s competitors, it is critical to be aware of how to spend time with productivity in mind. ” In other words, it doesn’t really matter how many hours we work, it is important to always keep in mind the equation of productivity (sales/profit contribution to the company ÷ hours) while working.

As mentioned above, when one is praised for something like “how many hours one studies a day” from an early age (like a “so what?” thing for me), this value standard gets into the mind unconciously. Without being concious about this,  I feel that my teammates cannot get used to the SOPHOLA style of working unless they always keep it under consciousness. Nevertheless, I would like to continue this way of working at SOPHOLA without giving up and make the use of time more meaningful and productive. If you have any friends or acquaintances who might fit this way of working, please apply for a job at SOPHOLA!

Masaki “Mark” Iino
Founder & CEO
SOPHOLA, Inc

PS: My son carried Issho Mochi (=2kg of rice cake) on his back without crying. As his dad, I will carry the company (my teammates) and family on my back without crying too:)