Pre-Implementation Challenges

As a forward-looking organization which promotes female employment in the workplace, IS Partners has a mission to create job opportunities for women at various life stages.

Different from its parent company, IS Partners found it necessary to adopt a more flexible work system that could facilitate communication at multiple locations.

Post-Implementation Results

After introducing a flexible work system “Superflex”, IS Partners was able to establish a system for working at multiple locations, ranging from a person’s home to satellite offices.

In addition, time is more efficiently spent as the system allows for the easy visualization of the distribution of tasks and allocation of man hours.

SuperFlex: Super Flexible Work for 20 Hours A Week

The IS Group operates “@cosme”, the largest beauty portal site in Japan that is popular with women as a source of beauty information. IS Partners Co., Ltd., one of its subsidiaries, was founded in March 2016 with a major mission. The mission is to create opportunities for women to play active roles at various stages of life.

“@cosme has been rapidly expanding via word-of-mouth as a cosmetics review site, supported by many female users and employees, and has become a comprehensive beauty portal. In order to give back to the ecosystem, IS Partners is committed to creating career opportunities for women at various life stages.

How does TeamSpirit contribute to the company’s progressive mission? We spoke to Ms Erina Shimizu, IS Partners Business Promotion Department, and Ms Asami Ikeura, Manager of Web Production Management Department.

TeamSpirit: The New Way of Working

“At IS Partner Inc, we are committed to building a community of beauty enthusiasts. For this reason, we are actively promoting women– apart from directors, 100% of our employees are women. There are many mothers amongst our staff who are raising children.

Sometimes unexpected situations happen. For instance, a mother might have a small child who suddenly falls sick, or she might have to pick the child up from lessons. In such cases, it is not possible for the manager to monitor the staff leaving the office so suddenly.

This is why we appreciate the “Chatter” function in TeamSpirit. Chatter actively shares the status of attendance and work, so that staffs who are far away can understand each other’s movements,” says WEB Production Management Department Manager Ms. Mami Ikeura.

The TeamSpirit solution promotes flexible work hours. A mother can leave the office early to pick up her child, and resume work at night after cleaning up the house. Because it is now easy to share her movements via TeamSpirit, her work hours can be managed accurately via labour management. This is also why IS Partners decided to deploy a time management system distinct from its parent company.

The TeamSpirit system also helps employees monitor movements and communicate wherever they work– be it telecommuting, working at the Roppongi Head Office, or from Satellite offices.

“The practice in other companies is that their associate or part time staff work two or three days a week. In the case of Superflex, we do not have core working hours. Instead, we adopt a work system that makes it okay to work a predetermined number of hours between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. Employees at the head office also use Superflex when they are not feeling well or during bad weather conditions.”

Managing Work Hours To Support Cross Department Multi-tasking

The TeamSpirit solution is not solely for the purpose of attendance tracking. It is also for the purpose of multitasking across departments. Rather than doing a fixed job within one department, the company aims to have staff multitask across departments. For the purpose of tracking, the visualization function of TeamSpirit allows management to have an idea of the distribution and type of work the staff spent working.

The company usually has twenty to thirty tasks registered under their system at any given time, and staff are free to choose any task to work on. Initially, managers assigned tasks to employees. Eventually, staff were given the freedom to choose on their own.

From the management perspective, if a lot of man hours are spent on a particular task, managers will tend to start evaluating the situation. IS Partners conducts interviews every six month, and the data of man-hours proves to be handy. Before using the TeamSpirit solution, it is typical for some work hours to be lumped together as “other” time, which obfuscates how the time is actually being used. After the TeamSpirit solution is deployed, work hours are subdivided and recorded with details, giving clarity to how each hour is spent at work.

In 2017, IS Partners was also selected as the “100 Tele-Work Pioneer”, a prestigious recognition endorsed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. This not only acts as a seal of approval for a company that actively incorporates various flexible ways of working, but also acts as a recognition for the “reward system” for staff who have passed various beauty and cosmetics-related tests and qualifications.

IS Partners attracts excellent human resources by creating an environment that encourages independent career advancement. The popular content on “@cosme” will continue to be produced by employees who are active in Superflex.

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