Nov 05, 2019

Microsoft 4-day work week 'boosts productivity'

Microsoft Japan said sales had been boosted by nearly 40% during an experiment in which staff worked a four-day week on full pay.

Offices were closed on every Friday of August 2019 and full-time staff were given "special leave", which was paid.

Meetings were restricted to a maximum of 30 minutes and online discussions were encouraged as an alternative to face-to-face.

Japan has some of the longest working hours in the world.

A 2017 survey suggested nearly a quarter of Japanese companies had employees working more than 80 hours overtime a month, often unpaid.

Microsoft's Work Life Choice Challenge 2019 Summer experiment was popular with 92% of the staff it surveyed after the event.

During the month-long trial, electricity consumption had been reduced by 23% and paper printing by 59% compared with August 2018, Microsoft said.

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