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Microsoft Japan’s 4-Day Workweek Experiment Boosts Productivity by Nearly 40%

Recently, Microsoft Japan experimented with a four-day workweek. While the concept was widely popular with employees, the results may come as a surprise to anyone who buys into the idea that more time at work is the best way to boost productivity. 

Last August, Microsoft Japan carried out a project called the “Work-Life Choice Challenge Summer 2019”. For one month, the tech giant implemented a three-day weekend every week, giving 2,300 employees every Friday off during the month with no reduction in salary and no days taken out of their annual leave. Further, The Mainichi reported that Microsoft Japan also announced that they planned to subsidize employees’ education, or even a family vacation, up to ¥100,000.

“Work a short time, rest well, and learn a lot. It’s necessary to have an environment that allows you to feel your purpose in life and make a greater impact at work,” said Microsoft Japan president and CEO Takuya Hirano. “I want employees to think about and experience how they can achieve the same results, with 20 percent less working time.” 

The new workweek model challenged employees and managers to find ways to get more done in less time. Meetings were shortened, cut, or conducted remotely so to eliminate the commute. As reported by the Asian news site, SorelNews24the trial resulted in an incredible 40 percent increase in productivity.  

Employees didn’t feel as much need to take time off during the trial, which helped improve productivity rates. Microsoft Japan’s workforce took 25 percent less time off than they did before the four-day workweek experiment began. 

Other welcomed changes, employees printed almost 60 percent fewer pages and used 23 percent less electricity in the office since it was empty an extra day. Changes that not only saved Microsoft Japan money but are a welcomed benefit for the environment. 

It may seem obvious; it’s also worth noting that 91 percent of employees said they liked the four-day workweek at the end of the trial. Microsoft Japan reportedly plans to repeat its 4-day work week experiment next summer, and possibly expand it to other times as well.

Other businesses apparently have found their results compelling enough to give it a try. In the U.S., Shake Shack started testing the idea a year and a half ago. The burger chain shortened managers’ workweeks to four days at some stores and found that recruitment spiked, especially among women.

Shake Shack’s president, Tara Comonte, told NPR the staff loved the perk: “Being able to take their kids to school a day a week, or one day less of having to pay for daycare, for example.”

The company recently expanded its trial to a third of its 164 U.S. stores.

Why Leaders Should be Mindful According to the Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama has spent the past 60 years engaging with the world’s top leaders, companies, and organizations and has a deep understanding of how our societies have developed and changed. 

Leaders, whatever field they work in, have a substantial impact on people’s lives and how the world develops. The spiritual leader shares his observations on what we need from today’s leaders and how, despite our differences, all humans have one thing in common, the desire to be happy. 

Our strong focus on material development and accumulating wealth, according to the Dalai Lama, has led us to neglect “our basic human need for kindness and care. Reinstating a commitment to the oneness of humanity and altruism toward our brothers and sisters is fundamental for societies and organizations and their individuals to thrive in the long run. Every one of us has a responsibility to make this happen.”

It starts with our leaders to be mindful, be selfless, and to be compassionate.

Be mindful 

We are cultivating peace of mind. Compassion not only boots our self-confidence, but it also reduces fear. Compassion, not money and power the Dalai Lama says, is what attracts like-minded people, “When we’re under the sway of anger or attachment, we’re limited in our ability to take a full and realistic view of the situation. When the mind is compassionate, it is calm, and we’re able to use our sense of reason practically, realistically, and with determination.”

Be selfless

Developing a genuine sense of concern for others allows no room for cheating, bullying, or exploitation; instead, it will enable a space for honesty, truthful, and transparent conduct. In turn, selfless leaders spark action in others by seeing the value in others and aligning that value with the worthy cause. 

Be compassionate

The Dalai Lama says the ultimate source of a happy life is warm-heartedness. To achieve that, you need to pay attention to your inner values. A compassionate leader recognizes that every team member is not only a significant individual but also an essential thread in the fabric of an entire organization. 

Paying attention to your motivation behind your actions. Actions motivated by anger and greed tend to be harmful and violent, whereas those motivated by compassion and concern for others are generally peaceful, “People often don’t realize that warm-heartedness, compassion, and love are actually factors for our survival.” 

We’re in search of exceptional leaders. Contact Innova People, your Healthcare and IT Staffing agency, to learn more. 

 

 

Health IT Roles for AI an Emerging Technology in 2020

AI will have the greatest impact on healthcare organizations in 2020 and beyond according to a recent Accenture survey. The consulting giant polled healthcare executives on trends they see on the rise and more than two-fifths (41%) of respondents ranked AI as the top emerging technology.

 

“In 2019, there was a fundamental shift in how AI is understood,” Dr. Kaveh Safavi, senior managing director, head of global health practice at Accenture told Healthcare IT News. “People started to realize that AI is best used when augmenting the work of humans, rather than substituting them. This will have a tremendous impact on how AI is utilized in 2020, and I see it becoming a self-running engine for growth across healthcare, helping clinicians make better decisions and extending their reach.”

 

For now, healthcare AI is being implemented mainly in operational areas, which is less likely to cause anxiety among patients and clinicians and may help to mitigate the typical disappointment cycle often experienced during the adoption of innovative technologies. AI technology could support the labor shortage, rising healthcare costs, and the evolution of patient care.

 

According to Accenture analysis, when combined with key clinical health AI applications, AI has the potential to create $150 billion in annual savings for the U.S. healthcare economy by 2026. 

 

So, “Why aren’t even more AI projects underway?” The answer: People skills. People skills matter most to AI success, and insufficient skills within the health organization workforce represent nearly two-thirds (63%) and insufficiently skilled workforce as the number one obstacle to their implementation according to the survey.  

 

Any new technology is expected to experience an early shortage of skills. This shortage is exacerbated by the fact that AI does not require just AI skills themselves. A successful AI project demands training, data organization, data cleansing, explainable AI (so that decisions are transparent), and requires business, data, analytics, and AI experts. It’s not simply a question of writing requirements and creating the code.

 

Dr. Safavi expects to see growth in the DARQ – distributed ledger (blockchain), AI, extended reality and quantum computing. These technologies together will become the foundation for the digital healthcare future, he predicts. 

 

“According to Accenture research, 89% of businesses already are experimenting with one or more DARQ technologies, expecting them to be key differentiators,” he noted. “Each technology is at a different point on the adoption curve, but the first wave of companies using DARQ technologies to drive differentiation is already here. Next, we will need to grapple with each of these technologies becoming more and more complex and learning how to adopt them into the healthcare system.”

 

Contact us for our open healthcare/IT positions. 

Build Trust

Trust is essential when building a healthy and productive work environment. Whether you’re leading an entire department or work hand in hand with a just a few coworkers, it’s important to build trusting relationships.

Here are several tips to help build trust with both your coworkers and your superiors:

Be honest and share information completely. Be straightforward and honest with everyone and expect the same in return.

Be open to the ideas of others. Don’t dismiss an idea simply because it doesn’t align with what you had in mind. Take everyone’s feedback into consideration before making a final decision and let others be heard.

Stand up for what you believe in. If you feel strongly about an issue, make sure you voice your opinion–but be sure you can share some evidence to support your view.

Follow through on commitments. The easiest way to lose someone’s trust and confidence is to let them down. Make sure you meet your commitments and don’t set deadlines you can’t meet.

Learn from your mistakes. Mistakes will happen, and when they do, own up to them. Taking responsibility and developing a process to ensure the same mistake isn’t repeated is a great way to build trust.

At INNOVA People, we take great pride in helping people. If you’re looking for a great new opportunity, please contact us today.

The 5 Keys to Job Success

Certain people always have great jobs. They always seem to land the promotion. And they always seem to be successful with everything they touch.
Is this just luck or a coincidence? Nope! These people don’t wait for things to happen, they make their own luck. So what can you do to ensure you’re successful? You can start by following these five tips:

1. Have a positive attitude–always!
Your attitude can be a powerful self-fulfilling prophecy. If you have a negative attitude, 9 times out of 10 you will fail. But, if you bring a positive attitude and display confidence, strength, and determination, you WILL be successful.

2. Stay educated.
The best way to ensure success is to stay one step ahead. Research your industry. Know what’s happening and what the experts say will happen. Look for trends. When you find them, start to train yourself in these areas. Knowledge is power.

3. Create a personal elevator pitch.
First impressions mean a lot. If you only had 30 seconds to convince someone you were a hard-worker and a leader, what would you say and do? Plan this ahead of time; you never know when it will be needed.

4. Learn to network.
Unfortunately sometimes it’s not what you know, but who you know (at least to begin with). Learn to network. You can even network within your own company. Invite co-workers to lunch. Take the time to walk by someone’s office to say hello. And actively seek out opportunities to network outside of work by joining organizations, groups, etc. You start by seeking out your local chamber of commerce to learn of upcoming events.

5. Be open to new opportunities.
Read trade publications. Listen to people in your network. When a new opportunity presents itself, don’t sit back and wait. Take the initiative to inquire more–and don’t be shy!

Get Motivated

Today, we’re going to focus on 5 ways to turn negative thoughts into positive action.

1. You have a lot of potential – start recognizing it!
You may not be built like a bodybuilder or be mistaken for a supermodel. But with positive thinking, focusing on your strengths, and self-determination you can achieve some truly amazing things.

2. Decide what you want – and set goals along the way.
Remember the old saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day”? Well, it wasn’t! When setting goals, it’s important to keep your long-term goal in mind, but set smaller goals along the way. This will help keep you motivated and patient.

3. Get focused and discipline yourself.
Nothing in life is free. If you want to meet your goals, you’re going to have to work for it. Focus your attention on your goals and don’t stray. Make sure each day you do at least one activity that centers around your goals.

4. Stop doubting your abilities and develop self-confidence.
Strike the phrase “I can’t” from your vocabulary-because “you can”! Don’t complain or get frustrated with little roadblocks. Instead visualize your success.

5. Avoid negative people.
Negativity is contagious. One of the easiest ways to become successful is to surround yourself with positive, successful people.

We hope you find these tips helpful. At INNOVA People, we take a great deal of pride in helping people.