× Business BUSINESS MOTORING SHIPPING & LOGISTICS DR PESA FINANCIAL STANDARD Digital News Videos Health & Science Lifestyle Opinion Education Columnists Moi Cabinets Arts & Culture Fact Check Podcasts E-Paper Lifestyle & Entertainment Nairobian Entertainment Eve Woman Travelog TV Stations KTN Home KTN News BTV KTN Farmers TV Radio Stations Radio Maisha Spice FM Vybez Radio Enterprise VAS E-Learning Digger Classified Jobs Games Crosswords Sudoku The Standard Group Corporate Contact Us Rate Card Vacancies DCX O.M Portal Corporate Email RMS
×

Shorter working hours boosts sales in firms with overworked staff

WORK LIFE
By AFP | November 5th 2019

In a country notorious for overwork, Microsoft Japan trialled a radical idea: working less. And it found that four-day weeks and other reforms both boosted sales and cut costs.

The Japanese unit of the US IT giant closed its offices every Friday in August, giving all 2,300 full-time workers special leave.

It also restricted meetings to a maximum of 30 minutes, and encouraged online chats as an alternative to face-to-face communications.

The number of participants at meetings was limited to a five, and workers were also encouraged to use online communication instead of emails, it said.

The results were positive, with sales per employee rising almost 40 percent in August from a year earlier, electricity consumption down by a quarter and paper usage being cut in half.

The firm said the trial showed "employees want to have a variety of ways of working" and that adopting the model more broadly could boost efficiency.

It plans to launch a similar programme this winter -- but won't offer special leave.

Instead, employees will be encouraged to use their existing holiday days, it said.

The programme comes as Japan's government pushes for more "flexible work styles," urging business to accept telecommuting, different part-time schedules and off-peak commuting.

The effort is part of an attempt to address the issue of "karoshi" -- death from overwork -- and to encourage overworked and overburdened couples to have children in a country that is struggling with a shrinking population.

Share this story
Treasury's budget cuts laudible
Kenyans welcome the acting National Treasury CS Ukur Yatani’s admission that the ministry has learnt to cut its coat according to its cloth
Dog walking becomes the newest hustle in town
Dog walking is now a status symbol. Owning a pet is cool. I nowadays meet lots of Kenyans and foreigners walking their dogs and some running.
.
RECOMMENDED NEWS
Feedback