Could this be a sign of things to come on this side of the Pacific Ocean? Let’s hope so.
Microsoft Japan recently trialed a 4-day work week and announced the results from the experiment.
Two big takeaways: the employees enjoyed the four-day week very much and productivity increased by 40%. Shorter, more efficient meetings were noted as one factor for the boost in productivity (DUH).
Microsoft called the experiment the “Work-Life Choice Challenge Summer 2019,” and it lasted for five weeks for the company’s 2,300 employees in Japan. Microsoft Japan president and CEO Takuya Hirano said, “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. I want employees to think about and experience how they can achieve the same results with 20 percent less working time.”
The employees of the company had to be more efficient with their time, which meant shorter meetings or remote meetings. That in turn led to more productivity. In addition to that good news, electricity use by the company dropped 23.1%, and employees printed 58.7% fewer pages of paper.
A whopping 92% of Microsoft Japan’s employees said that they enjoyed the shorter work week (surprise surprise). The company said it plans on repeating the 4-day work week trial next summer and might expand the experiment to other times as well.
I, for one, think this is a great idea if you work in an office or another job where people have to be present in order for things to be accomplished. I know that I would’ve preferred working four 10-hour days in my old office jobs as opposed to five 8-hour days.
What do you think? Share your ideas about this topic in the comments.