November 30, 2020
Productivity soared as Microsoft gave a four- day work week a try in Tokyo

Productivity soared as Microsoft gave a four- day work week a try in Tokyo

Evidence supporting greater productivity with a shorter work week has been obtained through a test performed by Microsoft in Tokyo, Japan. Since August this year, every Friday was off for the company’s employees and in order to account for the employees’ fifth day the company even gave them special paid leave. Additionally all the expenses that were incurred by the employees for volunteering, taking family trips or taking classes were subsidized by the company. In doing so, the company says that the outcome showed a 40 percent rise in productivity.

By conducting more remote conference calls and printing much lesser material at the office, employees both showed efficiency in the 32- hour work week and cost saving also resulted as less printing was done. In a statement by the company’s officials they shared that the data they obtained from this so- called Work Life Choice Challenge depicted that diversified working styles were sought by the employees.

However; it also important to note here that this test was conducted in Tokyo, Japan where employees are known to be exceptionally hard working; thus the same business practice can not be mindlessly applied in some other place. But the four- day weeks is an idea though is gaining popularity slowly and many companies are trying it out.

A comparison was drawn between the reports of June 2019 and 2017, from the Society for Human Resource Management. It was discovered that out of over 2,700 companies surveyed, 15 percent switched to a four day work week compared to the 12 percent back in 2017. More importantly, those offering a four- day work week have not reported any decrease in revenue or productivity according their report.In case of Japan, pushback from managers and uneven results depending on department was reported by Microsoft officials.

THOMAS ROBBINS

is a freelancer, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in English, he studied accounting at the Wharton School of Business, and currently lives in Staten Island has been covering business and technology for a variety of publications since 1989. He worked for Red Herring, Beyond Computing & Accounting Technolgy. He covers accounting, taxes, finance, government news & technology for the site Mail me

thomasrobbins@globepredict.com

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