We often hear the goal, or directive, to “do more with less.” Lack of resources, fierce competition, tight budgets, all the reasons are good to “do more with less”. What if we replaced the financial objective with improving the common good? Would we have convincing financial benefits? This is the challenge that Microsoft Japan took on last August.
Yet this feat still seems little known: at a business event this week, less than 30% of entrepreneurs and managers had heard of it. We must continue to educate the business community about its benefits. And they weren’t just human: Microsoft Japan saw its productivity increase by 40%.
As a corporate NLP coach, my mission is simple: to combine performance and well-being in the business world towards ecological and ethical coherence. Following the article by my colleague Julie Tardif, CRHA last week, I sincerely believe that “the 4-day week” can become a new demand which concretely allows us to do more with less, as much for the organization as for people and the environment.
As an ambassador of the 4-day week myself, I find many advantages in this reduction in working time. It encourages us to manage our time better. By prioritizing important and essential tasks, we reduce unnecessary breaks and distractions. Microsoft Japan has proven this: meeting time has gone from one hour to 30 minutes.
With more free time, employees’ quality of life improves. Being more rested, they are more concentrated and efficient during times devoted to work. This results in an increase in productivity, but also in the quality of the work accomplished. And a better climate is established within the company, strengthening team cohesion. Without forgetting all the health benefits and reduced sick leave!
Extrapolating, we even find considerable ecological and economic benefits. Because work involves a lot of travel and consumer spending which has an environmental cost. By continuing to work as much as we do now, we will not only continue to destroy our health but we will also destroy our planet. Working less while doing more seems to be becoming a necessity for the progress of our humanity.
Implementing the 4-day week can take several months and for some, 1 to 2 years. Meanwhile, the number of depressions and burnouts (burnout) increase. We must now open dialogue and collectively rethink the economics of our way of life. And it would be my great pleasure to begin this dialogue with you now.