People@Work

Office buzz: 4-day week works!

| Updated on November 07, 2019 Published on November 07, 2019

4-day week works!

It’s proved now. Microsoft Japan experimented with a four-day week this August, giving all its 2,300 employees in the country five Fridays off in a row without any salary decrease.

The tech giant has reported a 40 per cent increase in productivity at the end of the trial period. In addition, electricity use was down 23 per cent in the office, far less paper was used and 92 per cent of employees said they liked the shorter week.

More women-focussed

India’s diversity and Inclusion (D&I) programmes are more focused around gender, with LGBTQ and race and ethnicity still taking a back seat, finds a report by Heidrick & Struggles, a provider of executive search and leadership assessment services.

Based on a survey of senior leaders from 141 companies across Asia, results show that the D&I programmes in the respondents’ organisations mainly focus on three key areas: women in leadership, race and ethnicity, and sexual orientation. While half of the APAC-based respondents focus their firm’s D&I programmes on race (56 per cent) and sexual orientation (42 per cent), the vast majority — 89 per cent — focus on programmes that aim at empowering women to join leadership positions. However, in India, LGBTQ and race and ethnicity programmes are still nascent. Australia is Asia Pacific’s most advanced market for developing D&I programmes, according to the report.

Chatbot learning

Everything is going the chatbot way in offices — attendance status, leave information, admin queries. Now, learning modules too. Learning management solutions provider Stratbeans has introduced a chatbot-based module leveraging the power of AI to help upskill employees. It says the solution will help enterprises to reduce resource costs, improve employee learning curve and drive productivity.

Says Prasoon Nigam, CTO & Co-founder, Stratbeans, “Chatbot has become the new UI for modern interaction, as people are getting comfortable with numerous chatbots and voicebots like Alexa. Chatbot can cover various L&D scenarios much better than traditional ways. It is being used for providing personalised micro learning, for giving out interactive assessments, for providing the right set of information to an employee as he performs a task. These are initial days, but we are certain to see more prolific chatbot scenarios in the near future.”

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Published on November 07, 2019
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