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technology company Microsoft has said it successfully trialed four-day working week in Japan, which saw improvements in workers' productivity and job satisfaction. trial took place over summer at tech giant's headquarters in Tokyo. Employees were given every Friday off as paid leave in August. The company monitored the effects three-day weekend would have on workers' performance. Company executives said shorter working week resulted in additional benefits. Productivity rose by 40 per cent and 92 per cent of employees expressed their satisfaction with scheme. trial could lead to change in Japan's infamous workplace practices of long hours and lots of overtime.

Microsoft called trial the Work-Life Choice Challenge. The company said it aimed, "to create environment where each employee can choose diverse and flexible way of working according to circumstances of their work and life". Other aspects of trial included shortening the length of meetings to maximum of 30 minutes and encouraging workers to choose online chats over face-to-face ones. There were additional advantages to trial. Microsoft said that 23 per cent less electricity was consumed and 59 per cent fewer pages were printed compared with August 2018. Microsoft will conduct another experiment in Japan later this year and has asked employees for their input.

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