Wouldn't it be a dream if our weekends (officially) began on Friday? And no, we're not talking about those out-of-the-blue long weekends. I'm talking about every Friday being treated as a weekend. In an effort to tip the scales in favour of a better work-life balance, Microsoft in Japan just introduced a 4-day work week to see what impact it was having on employee productivity and morale.
Needless to say, the trial was a hit among employees. Microsoft called it the "Work Life Choice Challenge" and every one of the 2,300 employees who participated had something positive to take back. 92.1% reported liking the 4-day work week. During the trial period, Microsoft reported a 40% increase in productivity and a general decline in operating costs. The electric consumption, owing to the three-day weekends was down by 23.1% while 58.7% of lesser pages were printed. This was also made possible because they decided to put a cap on the number of meetings. The meetings were either cut short, eliminated or conducted remotely if necessary. And that sounds great to all of us who have worked at a corporate. Haven't you at some point wondered whether the meeting you're stuck in could have been an email?
Takuya Hirano, CEO and president, Microsoft Japan, said in an interview, "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. I want employees to think about and experience how they can achieve the same results with 20 percent less working time"
During the trial, the employees took less time off, 25.4 percent to be precise and of course, productivity shot up too. With the success reported in this trial, Microsoft plans to conduct the trial again next summer.
I mean, can you imagine having three days off, every week, with no impact on your salary or annual leave? The things we could do!
Here's hoping that all our bosses are listening!
Featured Image: Mashable