Recently, Microsoft rocked the business world with a thought-provoking experiment in Microsoft’s Japan office. To the surprise of many, they instituted a four day work week in the office as part of a more extensive program called “Work Life Choice Challenge 2019 Summer”. This project that examined work-life balance aims to help boost creativity and productivity by giving employees more flexible working hours. As a result, the project produced unexpected benefits as the company saw a 40% increase in productivity.
Microsoft however, is not the first company to implement this concept. Other companies around the world, such as the New Zealand company Perpetual Garden and the advertising agency Grey New York also practice the four day work week. Similarly, both companies reported higher levels of employee productivity and happiness. Not just that, Microsoft also said that their paper consumption went down by around 58.7% while their electricity consumption went down by 23.1%, helping them to preserve electricity and office resources.
It is understandable that most companies are more reluctant to try this concept out as they still harbor reservations about its effect on work productivity. However, these concerns can be overcome by changing the employee’s perspective through a better onboarding of the four day work week. With a day off a week, employees are entrusted and expected to work harder during the regular workdays, in which employees do rise to the occasion most of the time based on recent examples by Microsoft and other companies. Since the success of this experiment, Microsoft has implemented the four day work week across all their companies.