MICROSOFT has taken a bold new move in a bid to improve work-life balance by introducing a three-day weekend for their Japanese employees.
The company carried out a “Working Reform Project” called the Work-Life Choice Challenge Summer 2019 for one month – giving 2,300 employees every Friday off.
This “special paid holiday” did not come at the expense of any other holiday time and results showed that productivity went up by a whopping 39.9 per cent.
Employees also took 25.4 per cent fewer days off during the month and used 23.1 per cent less electricity in the office saving the the company money, Sora news reports
Much of the increase in productivity was attributed to changing the timings of meetings.
With only four days to get everything done for the week, many meetings were cut, shortened, or changed to virtual meetings instead of in-person.
In addition, 92.1 percent of employees said that they liked the four day workweek at the end of the trial.
Due to its success this year, Microsoft is planning on repeating it again next summer and potentially at other times as well.
Some commentators weren’t so impressed, saying: “I’d love for this to be implemented more, but I feel like making it work at companies open all week could be difficult. They’d have to hire more workers to rotate through the days.
“Microsoft is different from regular businesses, so I don’t think this would work everywhere.”
Japan routinely scores towards the bottom when it comes to employee satisfaction and work life balance around the developed world.