Microsoft Japan Let Employees Work 4 Days A Week, Productivity Rocketed By 40%

Dhir Acharya - Nov 05, 2019


Microsoft Japan Let Employees Work 4 Days A Week, Productivity Rocketed By 40%

Japan has long been known for its people’s terrible balance between work and life. And Microsoft Japan is trying to address that with its new project.

Japan has long been known for its people’s terrible balance between work and life. There’s even a phenomenon named karoshi, in which people die of overworking.

In 2016, karoshi saw the death of 191 people in the country, as reported by the government, which also revealed that more than 20 percent of Japanese employees are risking their lives by working an extra of 80 hours per month, often without extra payment.

karoshi-saw-191-people-dead-in-2018-1
karoshi saw 191 people dead in 2018

With this in mind, eventually, many companies are taking action to tackle the matter. Microsoft Japan is among those firms.

Reports say that the tech giant conducted a project to reform work at the office, dubbed the Work-Life Choice Challenge Summer 2019, which lasts for a month. In this project, 2,300 employees will get all of their Fridays off, and still get Saturdays and Sundays off too.

According to the study findings that Microsoft Japan released this week, the productivity of these workers rocketed by 39.9% over the one-month period.

Reports say that four days of work pushed them to accomplish their tasks for the week, resulting in cutting, shortening a lot of meetings, while other meetings were changed into virtual ones to replace in-person meetings.

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Microsoft Japan's new project reported positive results

Additionally, 25.4 percent of the employees took fewer days off in that one month and the project helped reduce 23.1 percent of the amount of electricity used in the office, which contributed to sustainability.

Notably, 92.1 percent of them shared that they liked working four days a week.

Several firms across the globe also carried out similar trials, reporting good results.

Last year, the International Labour Organisation carried out a study that revealed shorter working hours led to higher productivity. Meanwhile, Microsoft Japan is reported to maker plans to repeat the experiment with four-working-day weeks in summer 2020.

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