Microsoft Japan tried a 4-day work week and it was a big success

  • “Work-Life Choice Challenge” took place in August 2019.
  • The program resulted in a 39.9% increase in monthly sales year over year along with additional cost savings.
  • 94% of employees approved of the shorter schedule.

Microsoft Japan this week released the findings of a pilot 4-day work week program and the results were surprising. The effects of the shortening of the work week were positive across the board.

During the period of time the program was active, sales were up, costs were down, and employee satisfaction was increased. Compared with the same time period the previous year, sales increased by 39.9%. The division also spent 23% less on electricity and printing 58.7% fewer pages, a win in terms of both cost savings and environmental sustainability.

Employees overwhelmingly approved of the program, with 94% reporting a positive view of the program as a whole. Employees reported using the extra time for self development, community engagement, and spending time with family.

Microsoft Japan is not the first large company to pilot such a program, and results like these indicate it will likely not be the last.

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