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Microsoft store in New York City. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Microsoft held a four-day workweek experiment in Japan this summer and reported that its workers' productivity spiked despite spending less time at work, according to CNN.

Why it matters: Microsoft shut down its offices in Japan every Friday in August, and the technology company said the extra day off boosted productivity by 40% — measured by sales per employee — compared to the same period the previous year.

Details: The company this summer introduced the "Work Life Choice Challenge" and gave all employees an extra day off each week. Managers also encouraged workers to spend less time in meetings or checking and responding to emails.

By the numbers: "More than 90% of Microsoft's 2,280 employees in Japan later said they were impacted by the new measures," according to CNN.

  • The company saved money on electricity and other resources by shutting down a day earlier each week.

What's next: Microsoft said it will conduct another experiment in Japan later this year and will ask employees to come up with new ways to improve work-life balance and efficiency. It will ask other companies to join the experiment.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

First look: The LCV's $4M ad buy

A screenshot from a new League of Conservation Voters ad supporting Rep. Stephanie Murphy.

The League of Conservation Voters and Climate Power are aiming another $4 million worth of ads at centrist House Democrats, urging them to support the climate provisions in President Biden’s $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Progressive groups are trying to counter the onslaught of conservative money pouring into swing districts. Both sides are trying to define Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda and pressure lawmakers to support — or oppose — the legislation scheduled for a vote in the House this week.

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Shutdown Plan B

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Senate will hold a futile vote Monday night — just 72 hours before a potential shutdown — on a House-passed bill to fund the government through Dec. 3 and raise the debt limit.

Why it matters: The bill is going to fail. Period. But then comes Plan B: A "clean" continuing resolution — stripped of language about raising the debt limit — that Democrats spent the past week preparing, Axios is told.

Glenn Youngkin's play: Forever- and Never-Trumpers

Glenn Youngkin in Harrisonburg, Virginia, on Friday. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Standing on a flatbed hitched to a John Deere tractor in red Rockingham County, Virginia, Glenn Youngkin decried California liberalism and bashed his rival, Terry McAuliffe. He also encouraged early voting. Two words he avoided: Donald Trump.

Driving the news: Youngkin, the Virginia Republican gubernatorial nominee, is mounting a serious challenge to McAuliffe — a former governor and veteran of Democratic politics. Axios caught up with him on Friday in Harrisonburg, Virginia.