Market Overview

Microsoft Pilots 4-Day Week, Raises Productivity 40%

Microsoft Pilots 4-Day Week, Raises Productivity 40%

The Japanese division of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) drew definitive conclusions from a summer experiment: four-day work weeks improve productivity.

In August, the region’s 2,300 employees got Fridays off without a salary change. Management also piloted a 30-minute meeting cap with an attendance limit of five employees. Together, the adjustments triggered a 40% increase in average employee sales, a 23% decline in electricity expenses and a 59% decline in paper printing.

Why It’s Important

The trial demonstrates potential for Microsoft’s business strategy and bottom line, but it also reinforces recent findings on the relationship between four-day work weeks and productivity.

In spite of mounting evidence, executives have been slow to adopt the innovative policy. Some are reluctant to give five-day-a-week competitors extra time to rise, and many prefer to offer schedule flexibility instead.

Broad adoption might require a top-down policy change. The U.K. Labour Party presses for four-day work weeks as a core political platform. U.S. politicians have not yet picked up the trend.

What’s Next

Microsoft Japan has other experiments planned to improve work-life balance. Whether the company intends to instate the programs permanently or expand them to other regional offices is yet to be seen.

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Posted-In: Japan Microsoft JapanNews Psychology Media General Best of Benzinga


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