Even if Japan didn’t invent death by overwork, they probably perfected it with the word “Karoshi.”
Efforts to break the corporate culture of chronic overtime have had mixed success, even as the government faces a declining workforce as the population ages.
This summer in August, Microsoft full-time employees in Japan took five consecutive Fridays off. The result: Sales per employee increased 40%, according to Bloomberg.
In addition, meeting were capped at 30 minutes.
There was another benefit: The company printed 59% fewer sheets of paper and used 23% less electricity during the month, reducing costs and pollution.