Microsoft's Four-Day Workweek Boosts Productivity
Japan's workweek is one of the longest in the world, but Microsoft managers in Japan find it ineffective. For this reason, in August 2019 they carried a study about reducing the working week from six days to four, replacing working meetings with alternative online meetings and reducing official working meetings to 30 minutes. Such an experiment made it possible to increase sales by almost 40%. Meanwhile, the staff continued to receive full pay. The Microsoft Work Choice Challenge experiment in 2019 earned accolades from more than 90% of respondents. Besides increasing efficiency, the experiment helped resource costs decrease compared to August 2018:
  • electricity consumption decreased by 23%;
  • use of paper for printers - by 59%.
The author of the experiment plans to carry another one this winter, but the conditions will be somewhat different - the staff will be offered to take a day off and spend it usefully. Note that over 80% of Japanese companies work overtime. For example, Jack Ma, co-founder of China’s online store Alibaba notes 12-hour working day effectiveness.