Listen: At Microsoft Japan, Shorter Work Week Yields Greater Productivity
"And if if you're the type who doesn't exactly love Monday mornings well imagine if you were expected to work only four days. A week. Sounds pretty great right. Well that Dream Move Unlimited three day weekends could soon become a reality. IF CORPORATE AMERICA BUYS INTO THE RESULTS OF A recent experiment by Microsoft last August the the tech giant tested a four day workweek at a facility in Japan as Bloomberg noted. It's a country. Notorious for over work in an initiative called work life choice challenge Microsoft. Japan attempted to increase productivity while also relieving worker stress. The company told twenty three hundred employees to work only four normal normal length days for five weeks. Employees took off Friday's reducing their hours. Bhai a full twenty percent without any reduction in pay the result a surprise productivity boost of forty percent. You heard that right. It took more than the promise of downtime to achieve that kind of efficiency agency Microsoft also instituted a few new rules they encouraged some cultural changes to mainly targeting the much-maligned staff meeting for example they urged workers to hold fewer in-person meetings and hold more discussions by online chat. The real life gatherings that were held were capped at thirty minutes cutting meeting time in half and they limited the number of attendees to only necessary. Staff with fewer distractions. More time for self care workers were able to do more work in less time encouraging work style but Microsoft Japan President and CEO Dacuda Hirano framed as quote worker. Short time time rest well and learn a lot. The company also offered employees subsidies equal to about nine hundred dollars for family. Vacations domestic travel learning and and self-development Microsoft measured productivity by counting sales per employee finding a forty percent gain over the same time a year earlier. And what are you know. Ninety two to percent of workers said they liked the shorter workweek Go figure there were a few other upsides to with no one there on Fridays. The company used twenty three percent less electricity electricity. Oddly workers also printed sixty percent fewer pages. All of this isn't to say that there weren't some challenges. Some employees worried. The customers might light bulk at not being able to reach them. And the experiment may work better with some kinds of roles than others. The Motley Fool speculated for instance that publication suggested productivity gains might might not be so great in an office full of software coders instead of the sales people and this particular test other companies including shake shack in the US and trust company called Perpetual Guardian in New Zealand. Have also experimented with four day workweeks. But it's still far more common for businesses to offer flexible hours or remote work than enshrining working hours and when it comes to Microsoft's biggest rival possibly implementing their own shorter workweek in response to Microsoft's experiment. Well let's just say not not a peep from the folks at Apple. They haven't been yet and while Microsoft Japan intends to run another test this winter. It's not clear yet whether it will will actually implement four day workweeks long-term but the desire for shorter workweeks is gaining ground especially with younger workers who sometimes choose flexible jobs over for health insurance showing just how much they value their free time and with that sentiment growing a short work week could prove to be a big advantage in the tough competition for skilled workers now with Microsoft Japan demonstrating the shorter weeks benefit the organization. Not just the worker. Such a change could be a huge win win after all. What rational leader would say no to happier? Workers who"