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This August, Microsoft Japantrialed a 4-day work weekfor its entire workforce, callingthe projectthe "Work-Life Choice Challenge Summer 2019". Approximately 2300 employees were given 5 Fridays off, with no reduction in salary and no days taken out of their annual leave.
Further,The Mainichireported that Microsoft Japan also planned to subsidise employees' family vacations or further education by up to ¥100,000.
"Work a short time, rest well and learn a lot. It's necessary to have an environment that allows you to feel your purpose in life and make a greater impact at work," said Microsoft Japan president and CEO Takuya Hirano. "I want employees to think about and experience how they can achieve the same results with 20 percent less working time."
The 5-day work week is a deeply entrenched structure around the globe. But considering the results of Microsoft Japan's experiment, it may be time to overhaul the system.
As reported byNikkei xTECH(viaSoraNews24), Microsoft Japan's 3-day weekend trial resulted in an incredible 39.9 percent increase in productivity. This was partially attributed to the shortened work week meaning employees had to be more economical and efficient with their time. In particular, many meetings were shortened, cut, or conducted remotely so as to eliminate the commute.