Amid the travel restrictions that defined most of 2020, at Queen & Co., we sought a kind of remote work rooted in the local community yet unbound by location. Our improvised strategy combines technology and language services to support our clients and partners.
Honyaku Cloud Gains a Robust Online Platform
In 2020, we were at the mercy of the pandemic, but we reaffirmed our company values of integrity, community, resilience, and growth and, as a result, took on two main initiatives. One is the revamping of our translation platform, Honyaku Cloud. It is now easier to use, with full online support and smart AI analysis to save our clients money. We started the platform with a particular mission in mind: to improve the quality, convenience, and value proposition of language services in the Japanese translation industry. The fact that we have doubled the number of translations since last year despite the difficulties of 2020 is a testimony to the resounding response we have received from clients. We have plans to further refine and grow this platform in 2021.
New Permanent Location in London
Another thing to note is adding a company presence in the United Kingdom. In June 2020, I moved to Queen's Park in northwest London, a perfect fit for Queen & Co., aiming to connect Japan with the UK, Europe, and the rest of the world. With an increase in our UK-based partners, we can now provide translation services around the clock as we can now take advantage of the time difference with Japan.
Setbacks & New Developments at 14-54
We also experienced some setbacks. We had to close our community space at 14-54 for a few months due to the spread of COVID-19. This difficult decision made me think about how to act and respond to our environment post-COVID. As American entrepreneur Ben Horowitz writes in his book What You Do Is Who You Are, it is not merely what we do but what we don't do that defines our company culture. So, this year, which marks the fifth anniversary of our founding, I am considering new developments for 14-54 to create a safe environment for our community in Towada. To ensure it remains a third place where everyone can feel safe and comfortable, we will install thermal thermometers as we renovate and reopen the entire 14-54 space by March 2021 with a brand-new café inside.
Opening an Onsen at Yakeyama House
We will also renovate a new property with a natural hot spring (onsen) near the Oirase Gorge. While adding a new physical property to a company that encourages remote work may sound contradictory, I would like to re-envision the concept of how we work in the new year.
From Aomori to London and everywhere in between, we’ll try to bring the world a little closer this year. So here’s to integrity, community, resilience, and growth in 2021. Happy New Year!