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Microsoft Trials Four-Day Working Week, Productivity Skyrockets

Microsoft Japan trialled a four-day working week and found employee productivity boosted by a whopping 40 percent.

During the trial, conducted in August 2019, offices were closed every Friday and full-time staff were granted 'special leave' and paid for the time off.

New rules were also introduced for meetings, which were limited to 30 minutes and employees were encouraged to discuss work online, rather than face to face.

The experiment also saw the company save money on utilities and supplies. Electricity consumption reduced by 23 percent and paper use by a massive 59 percent compared to the same time in 2018.

Japan, Office
Productivity boosted by 40 percent at Mircosoft Japan. Image: Getty Images.

Japan is known to have some of the longest working hours in the world.

According to the BBC, the trial was welcomed by 92 percent of Microsoft's staff.

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Microsft has confirmed it will be introducing another trial during the winter months in 2019/2020 but, it would not be offering staff 'special leave' with pay.

They said during the upcoming trial, staff will be encouraged to take time off to 'rest smartly'.

Contact Siobhan at skenna@networkten.com.au