The 4-day working week policy of Microsoft Japan helps improve productivity by nearly 150%

The Japan branch of Microsoft Corporation recently discovered that during the test to reduce the number of working days per week to only four days during August, work productivity has increased significantly, while spending operating costs are reduced.

Specifically, according to TheVerge , sales per employee of this branch increased to more than 40% over the same period last year. It is known that this trial of reducing working days is within the framework of the "Work-Life Choice Challenge Summer 2019" program of Microsoft Japan.

Microsoft is not the only corporation researching the idea of ​​trimming the number of working days of the week. In New Zealand, a trust fund company also tested a four-day workweek for two consecutive months last year, the results showed that employees' ability to focus improved, and the stress index was improved.

In the UK, a London-based scientific research organization once considered plans for leaving employees on Friday without pay, but ignored the idea because the process was too complicated. The 4-day working week is also the focus of a recent study conducted by the British Labor Party.

The Microsoft trial is particularly interesting because Japan is a hard-working country, with a long working time, but is facing labor shortages and aging population. Microsoft currently has 2,300 employees in Japan, all of whom are entitled to 5 days off on Friday in August without any deductions.

In addition, this trial - which includes a limit to meetings that can last only 30 minutes - saves money for Microsoft. The amount of electricity used has decreased by 23%, and the amount of printing paper has decreased by 59%. Employees are encouraged to use tools like Microsoft Teams to communicate rather than hold meetings, and 92% of employees say they are satisfied with the reduction.

Although the pilot program achieved great success, it is still not clear whether Microsoft will continue to maintain it in the long term. It is known that by the end of this year, Microsoft Japan will launch another "Work-Life Challenge" program, encouraging employees to spend time off in more flexible and intelligent ways.

However, the company has not announced any similar plans for employees in the United States, which is responsible for the core development of many of its products, including Windows, Office and Azure.


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