More companies adopt four-day workweek in Japan
These companies are giving their staff flexibility so that they can fulfill responsibilities at home or acquire new skills outside of their workplaces. In addition, such companies stand to benefit from introducing a shorter workweek as it can help attract more talent or increase retention.
Panasonic Holdings was the latest company to embrace the four-day workweek, with the industrial conglomerate saying last month it will give some of its employees the option of taking a third day off each week during the current fiscal year through March.
Panasonic’s announcement came after the Japanese government stated in its annual economic policy guideline last year that it encourages firms to offer an optional four-day workweek, as it can benefit workers for various purposes such as child-rearing, taking care of elderly family members and volunteering.
Panasonic, which will introduce the scheme on an experimental basis, joins other firms, including conglomerate Hitachi, Mizuho Financial Group and Fast Retailing, the operator of the Uniqlo clothing chain, in adopting the four-day workweek.
A survey conducted on over 4,000 companies by the labour ministry revealed that as of last year, 8.5% of companies were giving employees more days off than under a five-day workweek, according to Kyodo.