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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!
Work-Life Integration

From Sociology Grad to Head of Platform Engineering: 7 Lessons for Advancing Your Career

Jenny Donnelly, Head of Platform Engineering at Nextdoor, is no novice to the tech world—she came on the scene when most of us were still using dialup. If you were to look at the linear progression on her LinkedIn profile, you might think she'd had her sights set on rising the ranks in Silicon Valley since she was an undergrad.

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Diversity & Inclusion

How to Get Leadership Buy-In For Diversity Efforts

Tips from PowerToFly's Strategic Global Enterprise D&I executive, Dionna Smith-Keels

If you are someone who works in Diversity and Inclusion or is passionate about seeing more diversity in your company, you may feel overwhelmed about where to start. When it comes to D&I, the best place to start is at the top. If you really want the work you do to have an impact, you need to get leadership at your company to buy-in to diversity efforts.

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Career Advice

From Chemical Engineer to Coding Bootcamp Grad to Software Engineer

How She Overcame Self-Doubt & Became a Full-Time Software Engineer at Quip

Have you ever dreamed of pivoting into the world of software engineering? Claire Johnson, a self-proclaimed chemistry nerd who landed a chemical engineering job straight out of college, certainly hadn't… that is, until she took her first programming class online at Stanford. Now she's a full-time software engineer at Quip, Salesforce's productivity platform. "I never would've thought that I would do this when I graduated college," she explains, laughing.

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popular

Experts Answer "Two People I Supervise Make More Money Than Me — What Should I Do?" + More

The Women at Work Podcast Shares Actionable Advice on Money, Working in a Male-Dominated Industry, and Finding a Sponsor

Recently I've noticed a bit of a trend (anecdotal evidence alert!) 🚨— I hear more and more folks asking for actionable advice.

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What to Write in a Farewell Card to a Leaving Coworker: Quotes and Examples

For the boss you loved, the coworker you hated, and everyone in between

Two things are inevitable when someone leaves your team at work: there will be an abundance of sweet treats (I'm partial to those giant cookie cakes from the mall) and there will be a card passed around for everyone to scrawl the professional version of sweet nothings in. Depending on the "importance" of the person, you may get the bonus activities of farewell gifts and/or an all-team champagne toast.

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