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

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

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