A 4-day work week can increase the productivity of a person or a team collectively. Well that hypothesis was put to several trials already and the latest one to put this to the test is Microsoft Japan.
During the month of August, Microsoft Japan piloted the project Work-Life Choice Challenge Summer 2019. In this challenge, all 2,300 employees were given successive five Fridays day off which means that they only work from Monday to Thursday. Giving this schedule without decreasing the employee’s pay.
After the program, the employees were found to have boosted their productivity by more than 40%. Because of the shorter weeks the employees were more efficient and meetings were cut short. One of the most important result however is that it resulted to having happier employees.
According to Microsoft Japan CEO Takuya Hirano, he wants the employees to think about and experience how they can achieve the same results with 20% less working time.
Aside from increased productivity, the company was able to save 23% in electricity because of the lesser usage per week. Employees also printed 59% less documents during the trial saving more on paper and ink.
After the pilot project and with the staggering results Microsoft Japan is again planning on conducting another 4 day work week run this winter. It is not yet clear on whether this will soon become a permanent work schedule for the Microsoft Japan employees or if this schedule will be adopted by Microsoft in general.