Photo/IllutrationEmployees of Infoteria Corp. receive a message on their smartphone at 5:30 a.m. on days when the high temperature is expected to exceed 35 degrees. (Provided by Infoteria Corp.)

  • Photo/Illustraion

To beat the heat, various companies have come up with ideas they hope will be cool with their employees.

With temperatures in much of Japan reaching or exceeding 35 degrees, a software development company in Tokyo is offering employees the option of working from home on such days of withering heat.

Infoteria Corp. began the unique teleworking program from three years ago, but this year's version started from July 19 because of the early onslaught of the heatwave.

On days when the Japan Meteorological Agency in its 5 a.m. forecast predicts a temperature of 35 degrees or higher, a message is sent to employees' smartphones notifying them of the option of working from home that day.

All the worker has to do is tap on the message and submit the application to telework for the day.

On July 23, about 20 percent of the 70 or so employees at the company's Tokyo headquarters worked from home.

Tokyo-based Koreisha Jukankyo Kenkyujo, which rebuilds homes to make them barrier-free for senior citizens, offers a special daily bonus for workers on hot workdays between July and September.

On days when the temperature exceeds 30 degrees in Tokyo's Nerima Ward, the company's 25 or so employees receive 400 yen ($3.60), while they pocket 800 yen when the temperature exceeds 35 degrees.

Keijiro Mizoguchi, the company president, explained the rationale for the 400 yen daily bonus.

"That is the price of a glass of draft beer," he said.

Employees who consult with clients may visit three to five homes a day. The company wanted to reward those workers making their rounds in the heat from 2014.

In a normal year, about 20,000 yen is the total bonus given to each employee over the three-month period.

But with this year's record high temperatures, the total bonus could go even higher.

Mizoguchi admitted that he was afraid to count up how many days had temperatures over 30 degrees or 35 degrees.

"I am praying that it becomes cooler soon," he said.