Microsoft experiments with four-day workweek in Japan, productivity jumps to 40%

After conducting an experiment of a four-day workweek in August, Microsoft Japan has witnessed a rise in productivity levels by almost 40 per cent compared with the same month in 2018. The tech giant cut the work hours under the “Work Life Choice Challenge” to promote a healthier work-life balance.

The firm gave an extra off on Fridays to its 2,300 employees making it a three-day weekend for the full August month. During that period, Microsoft saw that the sales per employee rose to 39.9 per cent as compared with August 2018. 

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Along with this, there was a suggestion to cut down the time of meetings and responding to emails. It was suggested that meetings should last for no mor than 30 minutes. The company witnessed a fall in costs, including a lesser usage of 23.1 per cent electricity and 58.7 per cent less printing of pages.

The experiment, that aimed at incorporating self-development and family wellness schemes, received positive feedbacks from employees. At least 92.1 per cent said that they liked the four-day workweek.

The company said that it aims to conduct a similar work-life challenge during the winter. The idea of a four-day workweek has been gaining popularity as it has been advocated in preventing overwork and reducing stress.

Japan is known for its longest working hours.

In a similar move, a New Zealand firm in 2018 experimented for two months a trial of a four-day workweek.