Microsoft Japan Implemented a Four Day Work Week to Encourage Work Life Balance

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The Land of the Rising Sun is home to some of the most industrious and hardworking labor force in the world. While it is true that the country is suffering from chronic labor shortage as a result of low birth rate and aging population, the workforce in Japan has proven to be the most productive when it comes to results and corporate output.

 

However, majority of the employees and office workers in Japan has a tendency to disregard a healthy work life balance since they focus too much on the performance of their jobs and accomplishment of tasks assigned to them. A number of firms and commercial establishments in Japan conduct meetings and conferences outside office hours with the aim of maximizing their employee’s outputs.

 

This has been a concern for a lot of employees in Japan, both local and foreign nationals alike. In order to address this issue, an increasing number of companies in the country undertook efficient methods and ways to minimize if not totally eradicate the practice of pushing corporate employees too hard.

 

One of the big firms that have joined such undertaking is Microsoft Japan. Last summer of 2019, the company launched a project regarded as “Working Reform Project” which basically seeks to improve the work life balance of their employees. For Microsoft, exposing their employees to a healthy work environment and schedule would boost their efficiency and productivity.

 

To prove this theory, the company implemented a unique corporate experiment which they called the three day weekend or four days work week by giving more than two thousand three hundred of their employees every Friday off during the month of August. The day off is considered as a special paid holiday for all their regular workers. More than ninety percent of their employees accepted this policy on a positive note.


The experiment revealed that due to the implementation of the extended weekend benefit, more than thirty nine percent of the sales has improved per worker. Meanwhile, there was a reduction of more than fifty eight percent in the amount of paper utilized for printing and photocopying documents per work day.

 

According to the spokesman of Microsoft Japan, the company does not intend to make the four day work week as permanent but may implement the said set up from time to time.

 

Reference:

Four-day workweek boosted productivity by 40%, Microsoft Japan experiment shows

Microsoft Japan’s experiment with 3-day weekend boosts worker productivity by 40%

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