With this being a topical discussion and debate, we thought we would open the bonnet on Microsoft’s 4-day workweek experiment that they carried out in August 2019, in Japan.
For the month of August, Microsoft Japan experimented with a new project called Work-Life Choice Challenge Summer 2019, giving its entire 2,300-person workforce five Fridays off in a row without decreasing pay.
The publicised findings were as follows;
- Microsoft found that implementing a four-day workweek led to a 40% boost in productivity, the company announced as part of the results of its “Work-Life Choice Challenge.”
- The summer project examined work-life balance and its effect on productivity and creativity.
The experiment for the month of August led to more efficient meetings and happier workers who took less time off
The company said it also reduced the time spent in meetings by implementing a 30-minute limit and encouraging remote communication.
Independent studies have found there’s demand for a shorter workweek. Last year, in a study of nearly 3,000 workers in eight countries by the Workforce Institute at Kronos and Future Workplace, most said their ideal workweek would be four days or less.
It’s not just the employees who benefited from Microsoft’s four-day-workweek experiment — Microsoft found that it helped preserve electricity and office resources as well. The number of pages printed decreased by 58.7%, while electricity consumption was down by 23.1% compared with August 2018, the company said.
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At Evoke, we practically couldn’t reduce our working week down to 4 days as to service our customers with the high levels of customer service and fault resolution they expect, and pay for, we would have to increase our headcount by a minimum of 20% across all functions to ensure coverage. This would be the case for many service providing businesses or public services. We could however make small changes and perhaps offer one four-day week per month where staff can take it in turns to have a Friday off which essentially would equate to an extra 12 days paid holiday per year. It’s food for thought – worth it if we could improve productivity by 40% 😊
No matter what your own organisational opinions and policies are around flexible working or a reduced working week, The Evoke team can see many opportunities for providing employees with a flexible working strategy to suit every business.
Evoke Telecom ‘Call to Action’
The Evoke team are experts in discussing innovative and flexible working strategies and simple, remote and homeworking solutions to improve productivity and boost employee morale. If you would like to discuss this topic in more detail with one of the Evoke team, please don’t hesitate to call us on 01509 278278 or if you prefer, you can email the team at [email protected]