Microsoft has started testing a four-day work week and productivity has soared
There’s a few things in this world people just have to accept once they reach adulthood and the five-day working week is just one of those things. Microsoft in Japan has been trailing out a four-day working week with incredibly positive results.
Microsoft in Japan this year has been testing out a four-day working week which entails a three-day weekend too. The company claims during the trial-month, its productivity grew by a whopping 40%.
The Guardian reports that during the month of August, the company’s entire 2,300 person workforce took Friday’s off without any negative impact to their pay. The idea made up part of the office’s ‘Work-Life Choice Challenge Summer 2019’ which also plans to subsidise employee holidays by up to US $920.
“Work a short time, rest well and learn a lot,” Microsoft Japan president and CEO Takuya Hirano said in a statement to Microsoft Japan’s website. “I want employees to think about and experience how they can achieve the same results with 20% less working time.”
Not only did the productivity dramatically improve, so did many other aspects of business. Microsoft assures employees took 25% less time off work, used 23% less electricity, 59% paper and an unsurprising 92% liked the shorter week.
Japan might not be the first place you think of as somewhere to trail a four-day working week. The Japanese are known to be an overworked population. CNBC reports that one quarter of all Japanese companies demanded up to 80 hours of unpaid overtime a month from its employees.
The report also said that the overworking culture in Japan is so bad that there’s actually a Japanese term ‘karoshi’ which means ‘death by overwork’ and it’s even recognised as a cause of death.
However the stats don’t lie, Microsoft’s test was a winner. The Japanese office has even said that because of the success of the August month, it will implement the idea again in winter.