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微软在日本试行4天工作制 结果工作效率暴增40%


世界上的一些发达国家纷纷开始试行缩短工作时间,而日本却依然在“工作至死”的加班文化中挣扎。如果日本也试行四天工作制,效果会怎么样呢?来看看微软的最新试验。

Photo by Fabrizio Chiagano on Unsplash

 

A growing number of smaller companies are adopting a four-day workweek. Now the results of a recent trial at Microsoft (MSFT) suggest it could work even for the biggest businesses.

越来越多中小公司开始采用四天工作制。如今微软近日的试验结果显示,就算在大企业也能见效。

The company introduced a program this summer in Japan called the "Work Life Choice Challenge," which shut down its offices every Friday in August and gave all employees an extra day off each week.

今夏微软公司在日本引进了一个名为“工作生活选择挑战”的项目,八月的每个周五都会关闭办公室,让所有员工每周都能多放一天假。

The results were promising: While the amount of time spent at work was cut dramatically, productivity — measured by sales per employee — went up by almost 40% compared to the same period the previous year, the company said in a statement last week.

结果还不错:微软上周在一份声明中说,尽管工作时间大幅缩短,但工作效率(按照每位员工的销售业绩来计算)同比提高近40%。

A Microsoft logo is seen in Los Angeles, California U.S. November 7, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

 

In addition to reducing working hours, managers urged staff to cut down on the time they spent in meetings and responding to emails.

除了缩短工作时间外,经理还敦促员工减少开会和回复电邮的时间。

They suggested that meetings should last no longer than 30 minutes. Employees were also encouraged to cut down on meetings altogether by using an online messaging app (Microsoft's, of course).

经理建议,会议时间不要超过30分钟,并鼓励员工使用(微软的)在线消息应用,减少开会次数。

The effects were widespread. More than 90% of Microsoft's 2,280 employees in Japan later said they were impacted by the new measures, according to the company.

此举产生了广泛的效果。微软公司称,微软在日本的2280名员工当中,超90%的人表示他们受到了新措施的影响。

Photo by Xtra, Inc. on Unsplash

 

By shutting down earlier each week, the company was also able to save on other resources, such as electricity.

通过每周提早关门的举措,微软公司还能节省电力等其他资源。

The initiative is timely. Japan has long grappled with a grim — and in some cases, fatal — culture of overwork. The problem is so severe, the country has even coined a term for it: karoshi means death by overwork from stress-induced illnesses or severe depression.

这一新举措来得正是时候。长时间以来,日本一直在和过度工作的严峻(有时甚至是致命的)文化抗争。这一问题太严重了,日本甚至为之创造了一个新词:过劳死。过劳死指的是因为过劳而死于压力引发的疾病或严重抑郁。

grapple with: v. 扭打;努力克服

 

The issue attracted international attention in 2015, when an employee at Japanese advertising giant Dentsu committed suicide on Christmas Day. Tokyo officials later said that the staffer had worked excessive amounts of overtime.

过劳死问题在2015年吸引了全球的关注,当时日本广告业巨头电通集团的一名员工在圣诞节自杀。东京的官员后来表示,这名员工加班时间过长。

Two years later, a reporter at a Japanese broadcaster died after working punishing long hours. Her employer said she had clocked in 159 hours of overtime the month before her death.

两年后,日本某广播公司的一名记者因超长加班工作而去世。她的雇主表示,在死前的一个月,她共加班159个小时。

That has led businesses to start searching for solutions. Some companies have begun offering employees more flexibility, and the government has launched a campaign called "Premium Friday," which encourages workers to leave early every last Friday of the month.

这促使企业开始寻找解决方案。一些公司开始为员工提供更灵活的工作制,日本政府也推出了一项名为“超值星期五”的活动,鼓励员工在每月的最后一个周五提早下班。

Microsoft, for its part, says it will conduct another experiment in Japan later this year. It plans to ask employees to come up with new measures to improve work-life balance and efficiency, and will also ask other companies to join the initiative.

微软则表示,今年晚些时候将在日本开展另一个试验。微软计划请员工提出既能改善工作生活平衡又能提高工作效率的新举措,并将邀请其他公司加入这一新项目。


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