Microsoft tested out a four-day work week in its Japan offices and found as a result employees were not only happier – but significantly more productive. The shortened weeks led to more efficient meetings, happier workers and boosted productivity by a staggering 40%, the company concluded at the end of the trial. As part of the program, the company had also planned to subsidize family vacations for employees up to ¥100,000 or $920. “Work a short time, rest well and learn a lot,” Microsoft Japan president and CEO Takuya Hirano said in a statement to Microsoft Japan’s website. In 2018, New Zealand trust management company Perpetual Guardian trialled a four-day work week over two months for its 240 staff members. A survey of 1,500 workers and 600 human resources managers by HR consulting firm Robert Half found 66% of workers said they wanted to work less than five days a week. Another experiment published by the Harvard Business Review shows shorter work days, a decrease from the average 8-hour work day to a 6-hour work day, increased productivity. A 2018 survey of 3,000 employees by the Workforce Institute at Kronos found more than half of full-time workers thought they could do their job in five hours a day.
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