Every company wants its employees to be content, productive and committed to their work all the time. But to achieve this some companies go as far as giving its employees just a leave for one day followed by overtime working which only ends up making the employees restless.
Recent studies and experiments have found out that a reduced number of working hours or those of days lead to an increase in the overall productivity of the company. Now you must be thinking how working less can lead to more gains because anyways we have been engraved in our minds that “more pain is more gain” right? However, it is high time to know that this does not always hold true.
Microsoft Japan recently experimented with their working schedule by making it a four day week. The project, called Work-life Choice Challenge Summer gave the entire workforce of Microsoft Japan five Fridays off in a row without a deduction in their pays.Over the whole month it was found that the workers were happier, meetings more productive and the overall productivity rose by 40%. In addition to this, the company also decided to subsidise family vacations for the workers up to USD920.
Microsoft’s Japan president and CEO Takuya Hirano said, “Work a short time, rest well and learn a lot”. In addition to increased productivity, employees took 25% lesser leaves during the trial, paper consumption dropped by a major 59% and electricity consumption was lowered to 23% due to one extra off day. When asked the employees about the experiment 92% of them preferred a shorter week.
With a reduced number of working days, the individuals have more personal time which increases their efficiency. Returning to work after the off days is like the fresh start of a beautiful morning where one feels motivated to perform well. On the other hand with longer working hours and more working days, the employees become less efficient as they feel overworked and exhausted. This stress and exhaustion can lead to decreased outputs, mistakes and even health issues related to stress.
Therefore creating a work culture where workers do not feel they have to put in longer hours of work to boost their productivity leads to happier and motivated employees.