Published: Mon, November 04, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Microsoft Japan tests 4-day workweek, sales spike 39%

Microsoft Japan tests 4-day workweek, sales spike 39%

The results were startling: a whopping 39.9% increase in sales compared to the same month previous year, along with unexpected efficiencies, such as a 23% reduction in electricity usage and 58.7 % fewer pages printed, partially due to the telecommuting initiative run during the same period.

As time at work was cut, Microsoft saw productivity - measured by sales per employee - jump by 40 percent compared to the same period from the year before.

Some Microsoft Japan managers still did not understand the changes in working styles and some employees expressed concern that shorter work weeks would bother clients.

Microsoft Japan has announced the results of its four day work week trial, and claims the move increased productivity by nearly 40 percent.

While this strategy won't work for every type of job, the majority of employees at Microsoft Japan were big supporters of the new initiative. Overall, 92 percent of employees said they liked the shorter week, with only employees in customer-facing roles finding it hard to relax on their Fridays off.

Xiaomi's 108MP smartphone, Mi Note 10, to launch on November
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They're not the first company to give a four-day week, three-day weekend a try.

The company hoped that the employees would give their best during the shortened work-week and then return to work Monday feeling more refreshed.

Meetings were restricted to a maximum of 30 minutes and online discussions were encouraged as an alternative to face-to-face. When surveyed, the company said that more than 90% of 2,280 Microsoft employees felt the impact of the new measures.

The result of the experiment showed a staggering increase in productivity by 39.9% even though the employees were only at the office four days a week.

Two years later, a reporter at a Japanese broadcaster died after working punishing long hours. Tokyo officials later said that the staffer had worked excessive amounts of overtime. "I want employees to think about and experience how they can achieve the same results with 20% less working time" about the project.

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