Microsoft's four-day work week in Japan resulted in 40% increase in productivity 2 months ago

Microsoft's four-day work week in Japan resulted in 40% increase in productivity

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Microsoft in Japan introduced a four-day work week for the month of August this year, and while the trial was hugely popular with employees, they also established that productivity increased dramatically when compared with the same period the year before.

The “Work-Life Choice Challenge Summer 2019” saw full-time employees take off five consecutive Fridays in August.

Their pay was not reduced and they did not lose any days from their annual leave.

As part of the experiment, meetings were shortened to a maximum of 30 minutes and online chats were encouraged over face-to-face ones.

Over that period, the firm saw productivity, as measured by sales per employee, rise 39.9% compared with August 2018.

According to the report, the move also saw the company save money with 23% less electricity consumed and 59% fewer pages printed compared to the same period a year previously.

It was also no surprise that over 90% of the employees said they were in favour of the four-day week.

"Work a short time, rest well and learn a lot. It's necessary to have an environment that allows you to feel your purpose in life and make a greater impact at work," said Microsoft Japan president and CEO Takuya Hirano.

"I want employees to think about and experience how they can achieve the same results with 20 percent less working time."