Microsoft trialed a four-day working week in Japan. Workers' productivity and job satisfaction improved. The trial was at the tech giant's Tokyo headquarters. Workers had every Friday off as paid leave in August. Analysts found the shorter working week had several benefits. Productivity rose by 40 per cent and 92 per cent of workers were happy with the trial. It could change Japan's famous workplace practices of long hours and overtime.
The "Work-Life Choice Challenge" aimed, "to create an environment where each employee can choose a diverse and flexible way of working according to [their] circumstances". It included limiting meetings to 30 minutes and asking workers to chat online rather than face-to-face. Microsoft said electricity bills were down by 23 per cent and 59 per cent fewer pages were printed compared with August 2018. Microsoft will repeat the experiment in Japan.