There have been strong demands for a more digitalization-friendly working environment due to the growth in number of persons working from home in response to the COVID-19 pandemic during and after 2020. In September 2021, a new Digital Agency has been established and legislation to support the digitization of companies and the relaxation of regulations which require (i) paper documents, (ii) affixation of seals and/or (iii) face-to-face meeting is rapidly being prepared and implemented, with the laws related to digitization being enacted on May 12, 2021. Digitalization has been widely expanded in respect of (a) external documents of companies (such as e-contracts), (b) internal documents of companies (such as board minutes) and various governmental procedures. E-signatures have been focused as a replacement of “seals” in respect of such digitalized documents and procedures.
With the tapering of pandemic restrictions, businesses around the world are looking to settle into the new normal. It is a time of optimism but also some lingering uncertainty. Some businesses have survived through cost-cutting and downsizing of employees and may need time to recover. In some cases, the pandemic has ignited the momentum for digital transformation and has been a catalyst for business innovation. “Work from home” became widespread during the pandemic and changed the way many businesses and employees view the workplace. This has caused some businesses to rethink their office space needs.
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