Microsoft experimented with a four-day workweek this past August. Employees received Fridays as paid leave. Not 92% of employees were happy with the program.
All of 2,300 employees working at Microsoft Japan had three-day weekends in August this year, as part of the company’s ‘Work Life Choice Challenge.’
Getting an extra day off every week made for improvements in several areas, including productivity and operational costs. Sales per employee, used to determine productivity, rose by 39.9 percent as compared to figures in August 2018, while remaining closed for an extra day reduced the firm’s electricity costs by 23.1 percent and saw a 58.7 percent decline in paper printing.
Given that employees had only four days to work, meetings were capped at 30 minutes, while remote conferences were increased to eliminate commuting where possible. The experiment also incorporated self-development and family wellness schemes and received positive feedback by the majority of employees, 92.1 percent of whom liked the shorter workweek.