Microsoft Japan Gives Employees 3-Day Weekend; Sees Productivity Rise By 40%

I sometimes wonder why we work most days of the week.

Did companies suddenly decide that it would be a swell idea to chain their workers to their desks for five out of seven days and only give them two days off?

Whatever the reason is, it has certainly become the norm here in Singapore. Heck, even working weekends is a norm for some of us.

Unless you’re a cat. Cats get the stay-at-home-for-free pass.

Image: Facebook

Sadly, most of us are not furry or have paws. But don’t worry, you can still be a part-time cat for 3 days out of the week if you work at Microsoft Japan:

Microsoft Japan Gives Employees 3-Day Weekend; Sees Productivity Rise By 40%

Microsoft Japan launched a four-day workweek trial for its 2,300 lucky employees in August 2019.

The project was named, “Work-life Choice Challenge Summer 2019”.

The employees enjoyed five Fridays off in August while still enjoying the same salary. They also got to keep their annual leaves.

Right now I’m just thinking of all the mini getaways with family I could enjoy if I were the employees.

Image: Tenor

And if you have yet to grasp the goodyness of this initiative by Microsoft Japan:

It’s pretty surprising, given that working in Japan pretty much equals to a lack of life. They’re notorious for having poor work-life balance, so the fact that they did this is a feat.

Microsoft Japan Experienced 40% Boost In Productivity

Surprisingly or maybe unsurprisingly, Work-life Choice Challenge Summer 2019 achieved an impressive outcome.

Like, really impressive.

Productivity increased by 39.9% for that whole month.

Image: Giphy

Wow. Boss!? Time for Goody Feed to implement the same initiative.

So how exactly did the productivity increase by so much? Well, it has apparently been as a result of a change in meeting schedules.

For instance, multiple meetings were cut, shortened or swapped in favour of virtual meetings, instead of having them be face-to-face.

Of course, having a longer weekend meant that the employees took 25.4% fewer days off during the month. They also printed 58.7% fewer pages and used 23% less electricity in the office.

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This definitely helped to cut a large portion of the cost.

Now this fact is definitely the most unsurprising:

92.1% of employees said that they liked the four-day workweek when the trial came to an end.

Wait? What do you mean when it came to an end? They’ve stopped it? I was going to quit my job and apply for a job at Microsoft Japan…


Calm down. Microsoft Japan still has plans to carry out a similar project this winter to introduce more flexible working hours.

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