Microsoft Japan trials three-day weekends - and productivity jumps 40 per cent!

A four-day working week sounds heavenly, doesn't it? And this major company made it happen.

Microsoft conducted a trial of a four-day working week in their Japan offices recently, and discovered some incredible benefits.

During the month of August, they implemented their new strategy, called Work-Life Choice Challenge Summer 2019, giving 2300 staff five consecutive Fridays off - paid, of course.

As a result, employees used every moment of their shortened weeks, with productivity being boosted by 40 per cent. It wasn't just about productivity, employees were considerably happier, the meetings in the office were scaled right back, and results did not suffer. Amazing, right?

Microsoft Japan president and CEO Takuya Hirano said on the Microsoft Japan website: "Work a short time, rest well and learn a lot... I want employees to think about and experience how they can achieve the same results with 20 per cent less working time.” A refreshing attitude in the workplace, that's for sure!

But, Microsoft Japan found the benefits didn't stop there. Yes, staff were happier and output was increased... but would you believe the environment also benefitted?

Let us explain. With 2300 employees off on Fridays during August, the building's electricity use was down 23 per cent in the office and they also saw a 59 per cent decrease in printing of documents during the trial. It's really the gift that keeps giving!

Finally, 92 per cent of employees said they enjoyed the shorter week. But what we want to know, are who are those other eight per cent?

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