Reading lesson: Microsoft Trial

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Read this article about a new way of working. You can also listen to an audio recording of the article.

Microsoft Trial

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Microsoft has decided to do a trial of a 4-day work week in Japan and it turned out to be successful. It was favorable in the workers’ productivity and job satisfaction. The trial was held at Microsoft’s Tokyo headquarters. The employees had every Friday off in the month of August and it was considered paid leave. As the trial progressed, they found that a shorter workweek has several benefits. The productivity of the employees rose by 40 percent and 92 percent of the employees were satisfied during the trial. This trial could change Japan’s long hours and overtime in the workplace.

Microsoft called this trial the Work-Life Choice Challenge.  The aim of the Work-Life Choice Challenge is “to create an environment where each employee can choose a diverse and flexible way of working according to the circumstances of their work and life.” Some of the changes included shortening meetings to 30 minutes at most and using online chat. Microsoft reported that electricity bills were down by 23 percent and 59 percent fewer pages were printed compared to August 2018. Microsoft will do the trial in Japan later in the year and it asked for the employee’s opinions.

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