I strongly support Microsoft Japan’s attempt to boost workers’ productivity (“Four-day workweek boosted productivity by 40%, Microsoft Japan experiment shows“).

According to the article, 90 percent of workers state that their productivity increased by 40 percent. There are still a lot of employers and employees who think that working long hours leads to great achievement at Japanese traditional companies. However, this idea is totally wrong because such long hours leaves employees’ bodies and brains exhausted, which leads to low productivity. Japanese labor productivity is in the lowest rank among developed countries even though their work hours are long. I appreciate that this company has informed Japanese citizens that maximum performance needs moderate rest.

In addition, I hope this attempt leads to reducing the number of deaths from overwork. People are not born to dedicate their lives to their jobs and companies. Japanese citizen should remember that there are other things they should place importance on, like spending time with their beloved family and friends or doing what they really want to do to fulfill their lives, such as volunteering, traveling or studying to get a qualification.

Microsoft Japan can be an excellent example for other companies that still insist on long working hours. It is time for all kings of Japanese employers and employees to change their ideas about long work hours to boost productivity.

I hope Japan can become a country filled with its citizens’ joy and happiness.


The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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