Microsoft Japan brings in 3-day weekends and sees a 40% increase in productivity

International Desk
6 November 2019, Wed
Published: 12:36 Updated: 12:40

Microsoft Japan brings in 3-day weekends and sees a 40% increase in productivity

Microsoft Japan has taken a bold new move in a bid to improve work-life balance by introducing a three-day weekend for their employees.

The company carried out a 'Working Reform Project' called the work-life choice challenge summer 2019 for one moth-giving 2,300 employees every Friday off.

This special paid holiday' did not come at the expense of any other holiday time.

The results showed that productivity went up by a staggering 39.9 percent.

Employees also took 25.4 percent fewer days off during the month and used 23.1 percent less electricity in the office which saved the company money. 

Much the increase in productivity was attributed to the changing 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. 

Due to its success this year, Microsoft is planning on repeating it again next summer and potentially at other times as well.

In addition, 92.1 percent of employees said that they liked the four-day workweek at the end of the trial. 

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.

The country routinely scores towards the bottom when it comes to employee satisfaction around the developed world in statistics. Source: