Photo/IllutrationMamoru Kato uses his computer on a seaside terrace on Amami-Oshima island, Kagashima Prefecture. (Provided by Mamoru Kato)

When 34-year-old Mamoru Kato decided to quit his job in Tokyo for a slower-paced life on a southern island, he never imagined that his boss would ask him to stay on board and work from his new "resort location."

Somewrite Inc., an IT-related marketing firm in Tokyo's Shibuya district, started a resort worker system in December 2018 that allows employees to work on Amami-Oshima island in Kagoshima Prefecture.

A form of telework, "resort working" offers improved work-life balance by allowing employees to continue performing their duties in relaxing, natural surroundings.

Somewrite President Satoru Ikedo had the idea of setting up a satellite office in western Japan before Kato submitted his resignation in spring 2017 after getting married the previous year.

He decided to realize his vision to keep Kato in his company, which has 65 employees, and chose Amami-Oshima, where the IT infrastructure is well-developed.

Kato, who is in charge of marketing and other duties, transferred there in April 2018 and has been preparing for the opening of the office while doing the same tasks as before.

"When you hit a wall with work, you can go to the sea and refresh yourself in nature on your days off," he said. "My productivity is improving."

With the new office scheduled to open this autumn, Ikedo said he is looking for fresh faces to fill the vacancies.

"I hope the opportunity to work in a resort area will help us attract capable employees," he said.

Nulab Inc., an IT company in Fukuoka, introduced its own resort worker system last June.

The company's president is Masanori Hashimoto, and the firm has 130 employees.

If employees want to visit and stay on Miyakojima island in Okinawa Prefecture with their family members, the company will shoulder some of the trip expenses.

Employees are allowed to take holidays at the location before and after their work period and can use the program on the condition that they give lectures at local schools to improve their teaching skills. Eleven people have used the system thus far.

The government, which is developing IT infrastructure and local bases to promote telework, aims to triple the rate of companies offering telework to more than 30 percent by 2020 from 11.5 percent in fiscal 2012.