freee, a prominent Japanese startup and leader in cloud-based accounting tools, introduced tonari, an immersive life-sized communication system, in conjunction with the relocation of their new Tokyo headquarters. With tonari, freee’s Tokyo and Osaka offices are connected to create a flexible and unified environment where engineers can work from anywhere. freee’s attractive new workplace also serves as a powerful recruiting tool for engineering talent.


Inspiring teams to work better together with tonari

freee has been among Japan’s top 10 “Best Workplaces” for eight years running, thanks in part to an open, inspiring, and flexible work culture that encourages flatness and transparency. After experiencing physical and emotional distance during remote work and the pandemic, freee sought to create more face-to-face opportunities for its employees, and has invested in new workplaces and tools to promote engagement and a stronger sense of unity across the company.

In August 2022, freee relocated its Tokyo headquarters to Art Village Osaki Central Tower, and introduced tonari to connect to their Osaka office. By connecting areas near the engineering teams, tonari creates an environment where everyday communication, design brainstorming, collaborative programming, and mentorship can proceed naturally across locations.

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Comments from freee on how they use tonari

1. An environment for engineers to work together naturally

Left: Nomoto-san    Right: Inamura-san

Left: Nomoto-san Right: Inamura-san

2. Flexibility to work from Tokyo or Osaka

3. Collaboration, mentorship, and feedback

4. Team building across distant locations