Microsoft in Japan trialled a four day workweek with incredible results. The company says productivity was boosted by a whopping 40%.
Employees worked four days a week, with a three-day weekend and still received their five-day paycheck, for the month of August. This was called the Work-Life Choice Challenge Summer 2019 and workers took all five Fridays off in the month.
“Work-Life Choice aims to create an environment where each employee can choose a diverse and flexible way of working according to the circumstances of their work and life,” they said in a statement.
Worker productivity wasn’t the only aspect that improved. The company said that electricity costs fell by 23%, they printed 60% fewer pages and the goal of reducing meeting lengths to 30 minutes was met 50% of the time.
Other such trials have proved equally successful, with a new Zealand trust management company trialling the same work week in 2018 for two months. Results showed improved focus and a reduce in staff stress levels.
According to NPR, Microsoft will hold another trial in winter after they were encouraged by these positive results.
But it is not determined whether Microsoft will institute these trials at other offices around the world. A spokesperson for Microsoft told The Guardian, “In the spirit of a growth mindset, we are always looking for new ways to innovate and leverage our own technology to improve the experience for our employees around the globe.”