In August 2019, Microsoft Japan tried a 4-day work and 3-day weekend system for a month without any deduction in salary.
According to The Mainichi, the firm also provided financial help to employees up to 100,000 yen, for their family vacations or further education or to develop new skills.
Takuya Hirano, president, and CEO of Microsoft Japan said "Work a short time, rest well and learn a lot. It's necessary to have an environment that allows you to feel your purpose in life and make a greater impact at work. I want employees to think about and experience how they can achieve the same results with 20% less working time" about the project.
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In the one-month project called "Work-Life Choice Challenge Summer 2019", 2,300 employees didn't work for 5 Fridays, during August 2019.
And the results were incredibly shocking.
The productivity of employees increased by 39.9%. Since their week was shorter than before, employees had to be more efficient and productive with their time.
Also, in a country like Japan which works a lot, people who rest more than others, also work better as a result.
During the month, employees took 25.4 percent fewer days off, electricity usage was down 23.1 percent, pages printed by employees were 58.7% fewer. It means that a 4-days working week is actually good both for the productivity of employees and reducing the expenses of the company, thus, the environment.
Microsoft Japan thinks of repeating the same project next summer, and some other brands around the world try the same kind of projects every now and then. And actually, there have been some positive results. Who knows, maybe in the future we'll work for 4 days a week, don't you think?