Research Shows Shorter Work Week Increases Productivity

Like most entrepreneurs, the Japanese are famous for a workaholic attitude. The Japanese are known for working some of the world’s longest hours with many employees working 80 hours of overtime each month. A recent study completed by Microsoft Japan flies in the face of the common wisdom to “work harder” to be more productive.

Microsoft Japan implemented an experimental 4-day work week to see how it would impact employee productivity. The tech giant found an incredible 40% leap in productivity levels after they cut their employee hours in an experimental effort to promote healthier work-life balance.

“The tech giant found an incredible 40% leap in productivity levels after they cut their employee hours”

The “Work Life Choice Challenge” closed the Microsoft offices on Fridays in August and gave employees a 3-day weekend for a full month to assess how this would impact the company bottom line.

Productivity, measured in sales per employee, jumped an impressive 39.9% as compared to the same period in August of 2018. Plus, costs dropped dramatically with 23% less electricity used and almost 60% fewer pages printed over the same period.

One of the most effective changes implemented during the experiment was that Microsoft Japan capped all meetings to 30 minutes and increased remote conferences.

Plus, employee morale benefitted with more than 90% of employees enjoying the 4-day workweek.

The idea of a 4-day workweek has been gaining traction with a recent New Zealand company testing a 4-day workweek for 2 months and Richard Branson regularly touts the benefits of a 3-day workweek to be more effective in running your business.