Microsoft's reduced work week shown to be successful

The company's Japan office reported a productivity increase despite less hours required by employees.

Tech companies are often known for their workplace innovation and experimental techniques. This proved true when Microsoft attempted a four-day work week in Japan offices over the summer. This program was named Work Life Choice Challenge, and it mandated that offices were required to shut down every Friday, giving employees more free time to do as they please. 
In a positive report last week, Microsoft announced that its four-day work week trial was successful. According to CNet, the office saw a 40% improvement in productivity, despite the extra day without work. 
Image result for microsoft japan 
 Microsoft Japan's four-day work week has shown itself to be effective (photo courtesy of Daily Mail).
Staff in these offices not only received an extra free day, but they were not required to spend as much time in meetings or answering emails. When meetings were required, they typically lasted only around 30 minutes.
The work week reduction also meant less energy resources expended. Microsoft saw decreases in paper and electricity usage. This saved the company money and benefits the environment as well. 
It will be interesting to see if other companies experiment with a similar strategy. If happier employees equal more productivity, it could be a win-win situation for all.