Here’s What It Will Really Happen If Employees Would Work Only Four Days a Week! The Result May Shock You
Throughout the week, we endure five days working at the office and spend the remaining two lounging around the house doing the chores that should have been done during the weekdays.
Weekends must be the time to spend quality moments with your kids, family, and friends, but if you’re too exhausted from work, you’ll just end up staying in bed, binge-watching Stranger Things or Friends on Netflix, and ordering Chinese food.
The vicious cycle is not just draining, but it could also be a risk for your mental health. This monotonous routine is energy-consuming and takes your time off other things that are far more important.
You work from Monday to Friday and it would seem like you just blinked through Saturday and Sunday, and poof, it’s Monday once more. Wouldn’t you wish you at least have three days off a week?
Microsoft Japan’s Experiment
That may sound like a pipedream but companies should start considering this after Microsoft Japan found it is effective. Throughout August, employees were given Fridays off through the Work-Life Choice Challenge Summer 2019, which means staffers only worked Mondays through Thursdays.
All of its 2,300 workers were given the chance to try the experiment without a deduction in pay.
It’s interesting because Japan is notorious for its long working hours – in a 2016 research, it was found that companies ask for 80 additional hours, which are usually unpaid, every month. With Microsoft’s bold move, it showed that labor productivity rose by a whopping 40 percent. But employees didn’t just become more productive and efficient as a result of the experiment, they also became happier.
Environment and Expenses
Microsoft also cut down meetings to 30 minutes and also promoted remote conference calls during the experiment. The trial didn’t just prove to be beneficial for the workers, but also for the company as well.
It noted that the four-day workweek cut their expenses, thanks to the 60 percent fewer pages printed and 23 percent lesser usage of electricity – which practically hit two birds with one stone since it’s also good for the environment.
The tech company concluded that employees are looking for diversified means of working nowadays. Takuya Hirano, Microsoft Japan CEO, said that he wanted workers to feel what it’s like accomplishing the task in shorter periods of time.
Implementation of the Four-Day Work Week
Meanwhile, this wasn’t the first time a four-day workweek has been implemented. Out of the more than the surveyed 2,700 companies in America, 15 percent now offer the program, which is a 3 percent increase from 2017’s, according to a Society for Human Resource Management report. It showed that although the scheme is far from being widespread, there was no decline in productivity.
This isn’t just true in America and Japan. New Zealand company Perpetual Guardian also did the same thing to its workforce – required 32 hours per week but didn’t decrease the salary.
The experiment showed that there was a decrease in stress levels, an improvement in work-life balance, and a better perception of the business since the employees thought that their employer cared more for them.
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