The BBC reported that Microsoft in Japan recently decided to alter their employees’ schedules, giving them more time off during the week. As a result, worker productivity increased 40%.
Microsoft Japan said sales had been boosted by nearly 40% during an experiment in which staff worked a four-day week on full pay.
Offices were closed on every Friday of August 2019 and full-time staff were given “special leave”, which was paid.
Meetings were restricted to a maximum of 30 minutes and online discussions were encouraged as an alternative to face-to-face.
Japan has some of the longest working hours in the world.
A 2017 survey suggested nearly a quarter of Japanese companies had employees working more than 80 hours overtime a month, often unpaid.
Microsoft’s Work Life Choice Challenge 2019 Summer experiment was popular with 92% of the staff it surveyed after the event.
During the month-long trial, electricity consumption had been reduced by 23% and paper printing by 59% compared with August 2018, Microsoft said.
The technology giant said it was planning to implement a second Work Life Choice Challenge this winter but would not be offering the same “special leave”.
Staff would, however, be encouraged to take time off to “rest smartly”, it said.
In contrast, Jack Ma, co-founder of Chinese online shopping giant Alibaba, has championed 12-hour working days.
In April 2019, he described the “996” pattern, in which workers do 09:00-21:00 shifts, six days a week, as “a blessing”.
A report commissioned by the Labour Party in the UK suggested a four-day working week with capped hours would be “unrealistic”.
“Even though some people are compelled to work shorter hours than they want to, most people are compelled to work longer hours than they want to,” the report. released in September, said.
Many workers find going part-time or reducing their days means they end up having to squeeze the same amount of work into the time they do have. (source)
Having worked in the corporate world, this is no surprise at all.
There is an idea among corporate America that more time spent at the office means more productivity, and this is absolutely not true. Many times, most productivity begins in the first two to three hours of work, and then dramatically declines from there, with approximately six hours being the longest period of sustained work that generates serious results. After that, the results decline dramatically, especially at ten and twelve hours or more, where people are not working from a place of skill or knowledge at that point, but from rote and brainless behavior. This is also why, statistically speaking, most accidents in a workplace take place during the last hour of work, because people are so tired yet are being expected to work as hard as they did when they started that mistakes are made, and then somebody gets seriously hurt or killed.
Americans love to talk about how much they work, how tired they are, and how much they do. But this is not a healthy thing, for make no mistake, while I assert that hard work can be good and is important, it must be balanced with intelligent work, because it is an investment. If one is not getting his “return” on the “investment”, or if the dangers outweigh any potential benefits, then it is not wise to work, and many people would want to stop. However, the corporate structure enforces this particular kind of behavior because that is what is considered “normal”, and the results come in declining health, personal problems, family issues, and sometimes mental collapse leading to sickness and early death.
The office in many regards has become a sort of extended day care for adults, who are herded like animals from one thing to another before their “pens” (home) to return to the “field” (workplace) the next day, only to receive a few days off to “recover” with meaningless activities before going back to more meaninglessness in the workplace.
Now most money is made, especially large amounts of money, with meaningless activities generally speaking, for there are few jobs (although they certainly do exist) that provide both meaning, a sense of purpose, and financial benefit all in one. This is consistent throughout history. However, the issue today is that due to financial manipulation by way of currency devaluation and the financialization of the economy through credit expansion, it takes more money to buy fewer things, and so one cannot live the same quality of life as in the past. Employers have also shortened days off, made schedules so that there are few consistent days off, and as a result have recreated a modern form of slavery that has the image of protections but with more burdens under the name of legality.
There is no reason that a man needs, in a conventional work setting, to be in an office for five days straight, for most of this is about social control, for at the same salaries- which have also declined due to the unnatural expansion of the labor pool due to to laws encouraging women into the workplace in positions and careers that while having been occupied before, to so do at historically abnormal rates -but with less overall work, men will be even more productive than now, and with less stress and having the ability to live life instead of live in inside of a cubicle with an employer who does not care about him and will look for every reason he can to throw him away.