By Working 4 Days a Week, It is Possible to Be 40% More Productive
Microsoft Japan employees took advantage of a great practice this summer: Microsoft Japan, which worked 4 days a week and took 3 days off, performed 40% more productively during this period.
Moreover, after working 4 days a week, there was no decrease in the salary of the personnel. They were again paid for 5 working days a week.
Microsoft Japan said in a statement that this application is useful in many areas. For example, the electricity bill decreased by 23% and the paper usage per person decreased by 60 pages. The 4-day overtime practice, which was tried in August 2019, is expected to be repeated in the winter of 2020.
Of course, the 4-day working practice also affected the meeting times at the company. The meeting time, which is normally 60 minutes, has decreased to 30 minutes, and the rate of participation of the staff in the meeting has increased. Microsoft Japan says in a statement that a meeting does not need to last an hour or that it does not make sense for 5 people from the same department to attend the meeting.
Stating that a new approach to time management is needed, Microsoft Japan also says that messaging applications that increase productivity are more reasonable and logical rather than time-consuming things such as e-mail and meetings.
This news has created excitement in other companies in Japan. When we look at the comments on the Asian news site Sora News 24, there are comments such as "My boss should read this news too" or "It is quite normal that all the work in the company has been completed by Thursday".
There were also companies that tried the 4-day work practice before. Perpetual Guardian, a New Zealand management and consulting firm, achieved an efficiency of 20% as a result of this practice. Likewise, it was reported that there was a 45% improvement in the work-life balance of the company's employees. This application was made permanent in the company last October.
This application, which Microsoft Japan tried in August, resulted in a 2-fold increase in productivity. Microsoft currently does not say anything about whether the 4-day policy will be tested in other centers of the company.
Microsoft actually sees this as a strategic move. The Japan office was chosen as the pilot area for the project named "Work Life Choice Challenge 2019 Summer". A Microsoft spokesperson said, "We are constantly looking for new ways to innovate and improve both our technology and the lives of our employees in light of the logic of growth." says.
It is true that working for 4 days is exciting, but it should be noted that this practice is extremely rare worldwide at the moment. As tempting as the shorter work week may seem, workplace and work analyst Dan Schawbel says employees should focus on a more important issue right now: flexibility.
“Young people see the flexible working system as more important than health insurance. Flexible working system makes more sense against the danger of working hard and mental and physical wear. " for example Schawbel says.
Technology is at the center of the discussions on mental attrition and employee determination. Because today, a person can do everything they need to do from home without coming to the office. Computer and wi-fi are generally sufficient. However, this situation may also cause a person working 9-5 hours to bring home work.
There are serious debates on this issue, especially in Europe. In France, which has the most robust laws in terms of the balance of work and private life in the world, the right of employees not to bring work home, not to check e-mail and work phone outside of working hours is protected by law.
In addition, we see that the practice of working for 4 days has become a political issue. In Britain, the Labor Party has made the 4-day work without cuts in salary an important political promise.
The excitement for the 4-day working system should not be perceived as people not wanting to work in the same environment. Schawbel asks the following question in a study he conducted in 2018 ..
"How many days would you like to work a week, provided that your salary remains constant?"
4% of the people who participated in the survey, "I never want to work." gives the answer. A group of 7% gives the answer 1-2 days.
However, the group that constitutes the biggest part of the survey with 34% responds for 4 days. The standard 5-day working application takes the second place with 28%. 20% vote for 3 days.
Schawbel says this is important, that people want to work despite everything.
So what do you think?
What could be the pros and cons of working 4 days instead of 5, provided your salary remains the same? We are curious about your thoughts!