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Microsoft finds four-day work week more productive after experiment in Japan

FILE - People walk near a Microsoft office in New York on November 10, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Swayne B. Hall

Microsoft gave employees Fridays off this August, and found it helped productivity

It also reduced electricity consumption and the amount of paper used in the office

TORONTO (680 NEWS) – An experiment in Japan shows a shortened work week can actually boost productivity.

Microsoft’s Japan subsidiary closed every Friday this past August, and at the end of the experiment they discovered productivity had jumped by 40 per cent, compared to August of 2018.

RELATED: Survey finds Canadian workers stressed by long commutes

The tech giant also reduced the time spent in meetings by implementing a 30-minute limit and encouraging remote communication.

Microsoft’s experiment also saw electricity consumption drop by 23 per cent during the same time frame, while the number of pages printed fell by 58 per cent.

Last year, in a study of nearly 3000 workers in eight countries, most said their ideal workweek would be four days or less.