Microsoft’s 4-day Workweek Experiment shows 40% Surge in Productivity

Highlights

  • According to Microsoft Japan, a one-month experiment of implementing a four-day workweek not only increased productivity but also made employees happier.
  • Microsoft’s entire workforce of 2,300 people in Japan enjoyed a Friday off for five weeks.
  • The company did it without lowering their pay.

In a country badly famous for overwork and suicides due to overwork, Microsoft Japan experimented with a transformative idea.

It focused on working less. As a result, the company found that four-day weeks and other perks both boosted sales and cut costs.

The US tech giant gave all 2,300 full-time workers special leave. Mircosoft Japan closed its offices every Friday in August 2019. Likewise, it restricted meetings to a maximum of 30 minutes. The company rather encouraged employees to have online chats as an alternative to face-to-face time-consuming communications.

Moreover, the number of participants at meetings was limited to five, and workers were also encouraged to use online communication instead of emails. 

According to Microsoft, the results were positive as sales per employee rose almost 40% in August from a year earlier. Additionally, the company successfully achieved lower electricity consumption down by a quarter and paper usage was cut by half.

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