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Microsoft’s Japan Office Just Tested Out This New Work Schedule & The Results Are Really Promising

Employees today are used to the five-day workweek, which entails them to work in an office all weekdays typically from nine to five. They then get a two-day break on Saturdays and Sundays to recharge and back to the rat race they go again. Not surprisingly, this routine led some people to feel weary of their desk jobs leading to decreased productivity and other issues.

Because of this, some people began advocating for shorter workweeks. Most wanted to cut down workdays to just four days instead of five. While some can only dream of a setup like this, Japanese workers actually got a taste of it.

One Less Work Day

The management also increased remote communication with their employees and limited face-to-face meetings to just 30 minutes

Back in August of this year, Microsoft‘s office in Japan began giving their employees their Fridays off. This reportedly led to an impressive 40% increase in their productivity when compared to that of the previous year’s August. The trial only lasted a month with the workers getting a total of five extra days off with pay.

In the end, the workplace also observed other benefits due to the implementation of a four-day workweek. The Microsoft subsidiary reportedly saved on supplies like paper as employees printed 58.7% fewer pages during the trial. What more, they saw a significant decrease in electricity consumption as the building was closed for an extra five days than normal.

The Ideal Workweek

One struggle that office workers face every day is making the often tiring commute to work

It’s not just the Japanese who have shown support for this idea. A study of three thousand workers from eight other countries shows the average individual’s ideal workweek is only four-days long or even less. It’s worth noting though that decreasing workdays to less than four may not be ideal for certain lines of work.

On the employees’ side working fewer days offers tons of positive effects. Having an extra day when they won’t have to work can give them much more free time to relax or see friends and loved ones. There are also other studies that the setup led to a decrease in stress levels for employees and led to them feeling happier and more engaged while at work.

A Win-Win Situation

Employees would also be discouraged to jump ship to a new company if they’re happy with the current state of their workplace

But as the Microsoft example showed, the benefits of a four-day workweek doesn’t end with just worker satisfaction. In the end, implementing it can be a win-win situation for both workers and employers.

Not only will productivity increase, but other job seekers would also find the company a desirable place to work in. Some experts advise employers to test out the concept for a few months and see how the setup works for them and their employees.

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