Some experts have been speculating about the possible benefits of working four days a week instead of five for a couple of decades already. However, the adepts of this idea were unable to present enough empirical data that would prove their point – until recently. Looking for a way to make its employees more productive, Microsoft Japan has taken the risk of adopting a four-day workweek. The results are surprisingly positive: not only the employees were much happier, but they managed to achieve more in less time.
The idea of making a workweek last only four days may be intriguing, but very few experts had the courage to support it publicly. The problem is, there was just not enough data to support the hypothesis that the shorter workweek makes workers more productive. Sure, it makes them happier – but the effectiveness of such a move for the employer seemed too good to be true. But a recent experiment by Microsoft Japan turned out to prove these claims with its latest experiment.
Microsoft Japan reports that introducing a four-day workweek resulted in a significant increase in productivity with overwhelmingly positive feedback from employees. Their effectiveness has grown by as much as 40 percent, and more than 90 percent of employees stated they enjoyed the experiment. Moreover, less paper and electricity was wasted, and the overall time off turned out to be much lower. This means the idea of shortening a workweek seems to be working even for huge corporations.
Microsoft Japan was not the first to try such measures. There have been other similar experiments, and all of them have resulted in some positive changes to productivity and income, more or less. But the example of Microsoft Japan may become the case that will finally start changing the public opinion on this topic. The results of the trial are obvious: employees seem to work harder when they don’t feel chained to their desks.
Takuya Hirano, president and CEO of Microsoft Japan, stated his support of such practice, and there’s a good chance other CEOs will adopt it, too. Who knows, maybe such measures will become a standard soon enough. Do you think it’s possible? Please comment and don’t forget to share the article.
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