What Happened When Microsoft Tried A Four-Day Work Week
Microsoft Japan tested a four-day workweek and productivity jumped by 40%.
Microsoft Japan tested a four-day workweek and as a result, employees were both happier and more productive. The experiment took place for the entire month of August 2019. All 2,300 people working at Microsoft Japan were given five Fridays off in a row, without decreasing pay.
During the experiment, the meetings became shorter and more efficient, and the employees took 25% less time off. At the end of the trial, the company concluded that employees were happier and the productivity was boosted by 40%.
"Work a short time, rest well and learn a lot," Microsoft Japan president and CEO Takuya Hirano said in a statement to Microsoft Japan's website. "I want employees to think about and experience how they can achieve the same results with 20% less working time."
In addition to the productivity boost, electricity use was reduced by 23% and 59% fewer pages of paper were printed during the trial. 92% of employees said they liked the shorter week.
Microsoft Japan was not the first to conduct such an experiment within the corporate world. Trust management company Perpetual Guardian from New Zealand also trialed a four-day workweek for its 240 employees. As a result, staff stress levels decreased by 7% and employees reported having better work-life balance and increased focus while at work.