Nov 4, 2019

Microsoft saw 40% productivity spike with 4-day workweek trial

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.

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