Microsoft Japan shocked every singleorganization and corporation when in August said that they will implement afour-day workweek program. They decided to do this because 5 or 6 days workingseem to only increase stress and decrease productivity to employees.
We are all wondering and seeking answers toa lot of questions when it comes to this program. For example, which are thebenefits of it? Does this program decrease stress and increase productivity forreal? Let’s answer these questions and explain this new approach further.
Back in August 2019, Microsoft Japan did alittle experiment that lasted only for a month. The program was calledWork-Life Choice Challenge Summer 2019 August, and until the first ofSeptember, the entire workforce attended work only for four days. Fridays werefree.
The reason was simple. Japan’s workculture, as researchers say, can be stressful and every month they have 80+ inovertime. Microsoft, on the other hand, wanted to help and this program was an“aid kit” for the problem they have been facing for a while.
The results? Microsoft was expecting highernumbers but they weren’t expecting upturn. The absenteeism decreased by 25, 4percent while productivity increased by 39, 9 percent. It is also important tomention that workers felt less burnt out and felt more present and conscious.So, this four- day workweek works.
Four- Day Workweek program brings a lot ofbenefits
Paul Pellman, CEO of Kazoo says that thisprogram can improve every employee’s state of health for sure. The HRTechnologists adds that a lot of corporations seek new ways to decrease stressat work while at the same time increase productivity. “Companies look for newways to engage people and this is one of the reasons why this idea is working,”says he.
Higher efficiency – If you implement thisprogram in your corporation the employees will become more aware of their timethere and will be more careful. The breaks will be significantly reduced,meetings will focus on productivity and only important tasks will beprioritized.
Greater collaboration – The four-dayworkweek will for sure implement increased collaboration hours. In these coupleof hours, employees will talk and solve different issues together and at thesame time share ideas.
Further Education – Employees’ free time byusing this program becomes abundant. They will have more free time to educatethemselves more about digital transformation. Further education is a musttaking into consideration the fact that Al and automation now control process-based jobs.
Positive outcome – Equal conditions andequal circumstances is the dream of every employee. Nobody wants to spend morethan 8 hours in the office as well so this will be cut for sure. Everyone willbe happy thus the productivity will rise day by day. This leads to a positiveoutcome for the corporation in general.
Manual about Four- Day Workweeks Program
Talk to your employees – Conversations withpeople who work for you are important. They are important because understandingwhat your employees want will only benefit you. To know what they want andneed, you need to ask them thus start conversations with them. This is onemethod that this program brings. Indeed, it decreases stress and increases thecompany’s success.
Evaluate productivity – Evaluate theprogress your employees make during the 5-day workweeks and later evaluate theprogress they make during the 4-day workweeks. You will be astonished by theresults.
Experiment – Pick one team and implementthe 4-day workweek program for a limited amount of time. Then pick another teamand measure the results.
The aftermath – Look at the results andcarefully review them. See the influence this program had on the employees and thebusiness. Ask your workforce and take into consideration their opinions.
Initiate policy document – Include everyperson associated with your company, employee representatives, stakeholders andtrade unions in this process. Formulate a policy document that will protect youand them in the future.
Remember that this program will require alot of reviews and retries. You have to be prepared for a total renovation.
Of course, failure can always happen. Maybeyour company is not ready for this program or maybe your company is not yetready for its implementation. Fortunately, there is a solution to everything.
Every organization and company is differentthus this program is not good for everyone. This is not the reason why youshould give up. On the contrary, seek and implement new ways and give yourworkforce the flexibility they need.
For example, you can always give youremployees the work from home option or to offer them collaboration periods.
A lot of people do approve of this approachbut at the same time, a lot of people are skeptic and think that itsimplementation is unnecessary. Sean Chou, Catalytic says that this program isforced to some companies, even to those which availability during the week isnecessary. He adds that people do not need this program because there are otherways. Sean says that the application of AI is the key because it will aid theemployees more than expected. Like this, employees will focus more on importanttasks while the AI will take care of everything else left.