The Reading / Listening - 4-Day Work Week - Level 5

Microsoft has successfully trialed a four-day working week in Japan. It saw improvements in workers' productivity and job satisfaction. The trial took place at the tech giant's Tokyo headquarters. Employees had every Friday off as paid leave in August. Analysts monitored the effects of a three-day weekend on workers' performance. They found the shorter working week resulted in several benefits. Productivity rose by 40 per cent and 92 per cent of workers expressed their satisfaction with the trial. It could change Japan's infamous workplace practices of long hours and overtime.



The trial was called the Work-Life Choice Challenge. It aimed, "to create an environment where each employee can choose a diverse and flexible way of working according to the circumstances of their work and life". It included shortening the length of meetings to a maximum of 30 minutes and asking workers to chat online rather than face-to-face. In addition, 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 later this year. It asked for employee input.

Try the same news story at these levels:

    4-Day Work Week - Level 4 or  4-Day Work Week - Level 6

Sources
    strong>/microsoft-japan-4-day-working week-40-per cent-increase-in-productivity-2019-11
  • https://edition.cnn.com/2019/11/04/tech/microsoft-japan-working week-productivity/
  • https://news.yahoo.com/microsofts-japanese-division-switched-4-123757914.html


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice, drag and drop activities, crosswords, hangman, flash cards, matching activities and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)



Phrase Matching

Paragraph 1

  1. trialed a
  2. the tech giant's Tokyo
  3. every Friday off as
  4. Analysts monitored
  5. Productivity rose
  6. workers expressed their
  7. Japan's infamous workplace
  8. long hours
  1. the effects
  2. practices
  3. headquarters
  4. and overtime
  5. four-day working week
  6. by 40 per cent
  7. paid leave
  8. satisfaction

Paragraph 2

  1. each employee can
  2. a diverse and
  3. the length of
  4. a maximum
  5. chat online rather than
  6. electricity bills
  7. Microsoft will repeat
  8. It asked for employee
  1. were down
  2. of 30 minutes
  3. input
  4. meetings
  5. the experiment
  6. flexible way
  7. face-to-face
  8. choose

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Microsoft (1) ___________________ a four-day working week in Japan. It saw improvements in workers' productivity and job satisfaction. The trial took place at (2) ___________________ Tokyo headquarters. Employees had every Friday off as paid leave in August. Analysts (3) ___________________ of a three-day weekend on workers' performance. They found the shorter working week resulted (4) ___________________. Productivity rose by 40 per cent and 92 per cent of workers (5) ___________________ with the trial. It could change Japan's infamous workplace (6) ___________________ hours and overtime.

The trial was called the Work-Life Choice Challenge. It (7) ___________________ an environment where each employee can choose a (8) ___________________ way of working according to the circumstances of their work and life". It included shortening the (9) ___________________ to a maximum of 30 minutes and asking workers to (10) ___________________ than face-to-face. In addition, Microsoft said electricity bills were down by 23 per cent and 59 per cent (11) ___________________ printed compared with August 2018. Microsoft will repeat the experiment in Japan later this year. It asked (12) ___________________.

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

Microsofthassuccessfullytrialedafour-dayworkingweekinJapan.Its
awimprovementsinworkers'productivityandjobsatisfaction.Thetrial
tookplaceatthetechgiant'sTokyoheadquarters.Employeeshadevery
FridayoffaspaidleaveinAugust.Analystsmonitoredtheeffectsofathre
e-dayweekendonworkers'performance.Theyfoundtheshorterworki
ngweekresultedinseveralbenefits.Productivityroseby40percentand
92percentofworkersexpressedtheirsatisfactionwiththetrial.Itcouldc
hangeJapan'sinfamousworkplacepracticesoflonghoursandovertime
.ThetrialwascalledtheWork-LifeChoiceChallenge.Itaimed,"tocreate
anenvironmentwhereeachemployeecanchooseadiverseandflexible
wayofworkingaccordingtothecircumstancesoftheirworkandlife".Itin
cludedshorteningthelengthofmeetingstoamaximumof30minutesan
daskingworkerstochatonlineratherthanface-to-face.Inaddition,Micr
osoftsaidelectricitybillsweredownby23percentand59percentfewerp
ageswereprintedcomparedwithAugust2018.Microsoftwillrepeatthe
experimentinJapanlaterthisyear.Itaskedforemployeeinput.

Student survey

Write five GOOD questions about this topic in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper. When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

(Please look at page 12 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

Discussion — Write your own questions

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

(a) ________________

(b) ________________

(c) ________________

(d) ________________

(e) ________________

(f) ________________

(g) ________________

(h) ________________

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

(i) ________________

(j) ________________

(k) ________________

(l) ________________

(m) ________________

(n) ________________

(o) ________________

(p) ________________





Free writing

Write about this topic for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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Answers

(Please check your answers against the article above.

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