Microsoft Japan tried 4 day work weeks this Summer first for a portion of their work force and then the entire company. The results of their "Work Life Choice Challenge" are shocking.
They report a lot of improvements including:
- A 40% boost in productivity.
- A 23% decrease in electricity costs.
- Those who took Fridays off printed 60% fewer pages.
The company also streamlined meetings thanks to the shorter work week, with meetings cut from 60 minutes to a maximum of 30 minutes. Plus, attendance was cut from entire departments to just five employees, which didn’t tie up multiple people from the same team.
A spokesperson said; "Our survey of employees around the world is pretty uniform in answers. Younger people actually choose work flexibility over health care coverage in every country, even though that expense in America is pretty high."
As far as work week hours shrinking economist Dan Schawbel says; "the average full-time working week fell from nearly 65 hours in the 1860s to 43 hours in the 1970s through the early 2000's. Productivity is significantly higher the last 4 decades but wages are not. In the U.S for example productivity rose 5% per year between 1987-2015 but wages increased only 2% annually. Companies don't want to give up their record profits so they'll have to cut hours, but keep the pay the same. The good news is this study reinforces what others have shown. 4 day work weeks actually increase productivity and help morale so they should increase profits! It's going to be under 40 hours per week for most people in first world countries very soon".