Microsoft Japan saw an increase in productivity after conducting a successful three-day weekend experiment.
Known as the Work-Life Choice Challenge Summer 2019, the company carried out a “Working Reform Project” that lasted the entire month of August, according to Nikkei Business Publications via SoraNews24.
During the project, 2,300 employees were given Fridays off every week without affecting their vacation time.
— shogo.yamada (@yshogo87) November 1, 2019
The result of the experiment showed a staggering increase in productivity by 39.9% even though the employees were only at the office four days a week.
Most of the increase in productivity is reportedly attributed to the changing of meetings, many of which were cut, shortened or changed to virtual meetings.
Microsoft Japan accidentally proves that meetings are mostly pointless. pic.twitter.com/715xxh9rMy
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At the end of the trial, 92.1% of the employees said they liked the four day work week schedule.
Microsoft Japan also saved money during the experiment. Employees reportedly took 25.4% fewer days off in August, printed 58.7% fewer pages and used 23.1% less electricity in the office.
Due to its successful run, Microsoft Japan plans to repeat the project in the summer of 2020 or during other times of the year as well.
The result of the experiment was surprising considering that Japan is one of the most overworked and the least productive workforce among the G-7 nations, according to data from OECD Compendium of Productivity Indicators, CNBC reported.