Productivity Jumps During Microsoft Japan’s Four-Day Work Week

Productivity Jumps During Microsoft Japan’s Four-Day Work Week

More than 90% of employees were satisfied with the effects a four-day work week had on their lives.

MICROSOFT JAPAN TESTED a four-day work week and found that productivity increased by almost 40%.

The tech company’s Work Life Choice Challenge 2019 Summer experiment was an “in-house project for work style innovation” featuring four days of work and three days off per week.

“‘Work-Life Choice’ aims to create an environment where each employee can choose a diverse and flexible way of working according to the circumstances of their work and life,” the company said in a press release. “By implementing a new in-house practice aimed at promoting the ‘Work Life Choice,’ we will challenge all employees to ‘work in a short time, take a rest, and learn well’ to further improve productivity and creativity.”

Microsoft Japan closed its offices every Friday in August, and full-time employees took “special paid leave.” The company also implemented an employee support program, which included assistance for expenses related to self-development, family travel and social contribution activities.

By the end of the summer, Microsoft saw labor productivity increase by 39.9% over August 2018. Additionally, almost all employees, 92.1%, were satisfied with the new work schedule. More than 96% of employees were satisfied with the effect the four-day week had on their work behavior. About 97% of employees were satisfied with the impact the new schedule had on their personal lives.

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