A. Microsoft Japan's 2019 summer experiment in giving Fridays off in August resulted in a employee productivity rise of 40%. The motto 'Work shorter times, take a rest, and learn well' challenged employees to "think about and experience how they can achieve the same results with 20% less working time." B. Perpetual Guardian, a New Zealand financial company found that cutting work hours reduced staff stress levels by 7%, and fostered a "just do it" approach to achieving work goals.
A. Microsoft's trial showed that workers, with only four days to do a weeks' work, kept meetings shorter, switched to remote conferencing, or cut out meetings altogether when they were deemed unnecessary. B. A research report on Perpetual Guardian concluded that "Many employees ... feel a deep sense of goodwill and reciprocity towards the organization, which manifests in an openness to 'go the extra mile' and think about 'what I can do to give back'." C. Positivity from shorter week + learning?
Reducing the current norm of 5 working days a week to just 4 (and maybe as low as 3 for certain months) will give employees more time to live their lives (YOLO!), enjoy family, volunteer for social good causes, and... be more positively motivated to learn for their own sake and for that of the company. One possible implementation is a 4 and 1/8th day week, where employees ingeniously complete work in 4 days, and spend up to 3 extra hours (not necessarily in one chunk of time) on learning.
How would you stage or advertise your hack?
A. A workshop on time management skills for employees, to get them primed for the next step. B. Inform employees that over the next few weeks, the company shall be cutting working days, gradually from 5 days towards 4 and a quarter, in 1-2 hour steps. Set expectations on why this is being done, on how this is a trial, how employees are expected to improve workflow and improve learning without sacrificing productivity. C. Encourage employees to record and self-report their mood, satisfaction, productivity during this period. Correlate self-reports with measurable performance /productivity data. Also make non-judgmental help available to any employees to find it difficult to adjust to the shorter workweek. D. Provide employees with learning opportunities, resources, and encourage them to spend 3 hours of their longer weekend in learning activities. E. Analyze to see how the approach is working for the specific company's needs, and tweak as needed.