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Work-Life Integration

Is The 4-Day Work Week Coming? Microsoft Says It Boosted Productivity

Are You Pro 4-Day Work Week? Tell Us In The Comments!

Microsoft Japan piloted a 4-day work week this summer and the results speak for themselves. According to a recent NPR article recapping the test:

  • There was a productivity boost of 40%
  • Electricity costs fell by 23%
  • Printing decreased by 60%

So how did it work?


  • This August, workers at Microsoft Japan worked four days a week, but earned their normal five-day paychecks as part of "Work Life Choice Challenge 2019 Summer"
  • Standard meetings ran 30 minutes (rather than an hour) & attendance was capped at 5 employees
  • Employees were encouraged to use chat software rather than emails/meetings

Next Steps

Microsoft Japan plans to run a similar test in the winter, but the company has not yet stated whether they will expand the test to other locations or make any official policy changes.

Microsoft isn't the only company toying with measures to boost productivity and work-life balance. In 2018, a New Zealand trust management company announced a 20% gain in employee productivity after testing a four-day work week (they've since made the policy permanent).

And a small tech consulting firm in Germany is toying with a different approach — a 5-hour workday. Workers were expected to arrive at 8, but could leave by 1. To accommodate the reduced hours, the company cut small talk with coworkers, social media, cell phone use, meetings longer than 15 minutes, and excessive email checking.

Still, recent research indicates that younger workers (mainly millennials and Gen Z) care more about flexibility than rigid walls between work and life.

As this recent New York Times article explains, "It's about employees shaping their jobs in ways that fit with their daily lives."

But more flexibility (and technology) could make it almost impossible to unplug...

So what do you think?

A 2018 Kronos Study found that when workers were asked, "If your pay is constant, how many days a week do you want to work?" the top response was four days. (This is all the more impressive given that "none" was on the list of choices.)

  • Is there something magical about a 4-day work week? How many days would you like to work/week if your pay remained constant?
  • How many days/week would you need to finish all your work?
  • If you had to choose between more flexibility or a shorter work-day and/or week, which would you choose and why?
Let us know in the comments!
Quip

9 Tips for Hosting a Successful, Collaborative Hackathon, from Quip

A company that is built around offering modern collaboration software needs to believe in the power of bringing people together.

Luckily, that's just what Quip is all about.

Their annual three-day hackathon Quiprupt is an example of what collaboration looks like not just as a product offering but also as a core tenet of company culture. We asked participants from Quiprupt 2021 to tell us about their experience coming together to ship cool stuff—and how Quip's culture sets them up to be able to find meaningful work while building better products.

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Fostering Collaboration and Innovation in a Fast-Paced Environment

Insight from YouGov's Victoria Ganusceac

Victoria Ganusceac knew she wanted to be a product manager, but the HR manager at the company where she was working at the time wasn't on board.

Not immediately, anyways.

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How I Took Action Against Anti-Asian Racism– At Work and In My Personal Life

If you've been paying attention to the news recently, you likely have noticed a sharp rise in Anti-Asian racism. Members of the Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities have been vocal in bringing awareness to the heightened racial discrimination they have faced since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, which, in some cases, have had tragic consequences.

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popular

20 Lessons from 66 Working Moms Balancing Family and Career

Experience is the greatest teacher, and the experience of being a mom is particularly chock-full of learning opportunities.

We know from the examples set by our coworkers and friends just how good moms are at juggling competing responsibilities and priorities. ("If you want to make sure something gets done, give it to a busy person" would be even more accurate if it was changed to "give it to a working mom.")

So this Mother's Day, we decided to ask working moms at our partner companies about the secret sauce that connects parenting experience to being better and happier at work.

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