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Microsoft tries a 4-day work week and productivity soars

11/09/2019 12:56 pm ET

Microsoft tries a 4 day work week and finds success

Microsoft’s Japan branch experimented with a four-day workweek during the month of August and reported huge results. The company reported a 40 percent boost in productivity.

The tech giant launched a “Work Life Choice Challenge” over the summer to find strategies to boost productivity, creativity, and overall morale. The program looked to make employees’ schedules more flexible.

Full-time employees were given paid time off on their extra day off, so their paychecks were not affected negatively. According to Microsoft, employee productivity shot up by approximately 39.9 percent, compared to August of 2018.

Microsoft also reduced meeting times by encouraging a thirty-minute limit and permitted remote communication.

The four-day workweek also preserved resources by shutting off the office’s electricity an extra day a week. The four-day workweek would prove better for the environment as well.

Other businesses in the U.S. have also attempted the shortened workweek experiment. A law firm in Orlando, Florida has adopted a four-day workweek policy, according to the ABA Journal. The Benenati Law Firm has their employees work 40 hours a week over four days, from  8 a.m. to 6 p.m. According to the firm, both morale and productivity have risen dramatically.

The AFL-CIO, one of the largest federations of labor unions in the United States, released a report in September. The report called for employers to offer four-day workweeks and demonstrated this is one of the ways employees can benefit from technology in the workplace.

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