This past summer, workers at Microsoft Japan were able to take Fridays off without losing any pay. The company announced that productivity went up 40% during that period. The company will run the trial again in the winter. One might guess that a motivated workforce wasted less time during the four-day week, but the exact mechanics of the increased productivity have not been publicized yet. One factor may have been a new rule that meetings would be limited to a half-hour for no more than five employees at once.
Four-day workweeks made headlines around the world in the spring of 2018, when Perpetual Guardian, a New Zealand trust management company, announced a 20% gain in employee productivity and a 45% increase in employee work-life balance after a trial of paying people their regular salary for working four days. Last October, the company made the policy permanent.
The Microsoft trial roughly doubled Perpetual Guardian’s productivity gain. But for now at least, the company isn’t saying whether it will test the four-day workweek policy in other locations or consider making it permanent.
While a four-day week with five-day pay may sound wonderful, there are other factors to consider. In the United States, being classified as part-time may mean losing benefits, even if the pay remains the same as a full-time job. Read about the Microsoft experiment at NPR. -via Metafilter
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