Last August, Microsoft Japan,which switched to a 4-day work system a week, announced the results of its 4-day work week trial. The application, which was widely adopted by the employees, surprised people with shorter and more productive meetings per week, which led to a nearly 40 percent increase in company productivity.
This experiment, which the company conducted as a project, was called “Summer-Life Choice Challenge 2019″. During the project, all 2,300 employees were allowed on Friday, all of them. Due to the shortening of the working week, no employee’s salary was deducted and the days that were not worked were deducted from the annual leave. The company’s attempt did not stop there, but each employee was given 100,000 yen to take a vacation with their families or improve themselves.
Takuya Hirano, President and CEO of Microsoft Japan,said that regarding the experiment, employees want them to think and experience how they can achieve the same results as 20 percent less uptime.
Microsoft Japan’s 3-day weekend trial led to a 39.9 percent increase in productivity. This meant that employees needed to be more economical and efficient in their time. During this time, many meetings are held in a shortened or remote manner. Electricity usage decreased by 23.1 percentbecause Microsoft Japan’s offices remained empty for another 5 days. Employees also printed 58.7 per cent fewer pages,which means a shorter working week could be good for both people and the environment.
Although 5 days of work is being adopted by the world as a whole, the efficiency of Microsoft Japan’s 4-day operation may lead to an overhaul in the future. However, it is worth noting that the working order and stability in Japan and the working patterns in other countries are quite different.