Panasonic has announced plans to offer a four-day workweek to employees in Japan. The move comes after the Japanese government made official recommendations to private employers in 2021 that included a shorter workweek. The four- day workweek has been floated around the world in various forms from Finland to New Zealand.

Panasonic hopes to give workers more time to pursue their personal interests. Just 8% of Japanese companies offered more than two guaranteed days off a week in a 2020 survey by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. Details will be ironed out by each operating company, according to Panasonic.

Yahoo Japan and Sompo Himawari Life Insurance began offering a third day off in 2017 only to those caring for children or aging relatives. Companies that have trialed a shorter work week, while maintaining competitive pay have generally found no loss of productivity. Anker PowerCore+ 10000 Pro Portable Charger offers up to 46 hours of battery.

The U.S. ranked 11th for most hours worked by the average worker among OECD countries. Japan ranked 26th. The top five, in order, included: Colombia, Mexico, Costa Rica, South Korea, and Russia. When Microsoft in Japan tried out a four-day workweek in 2019, productivity shot up 40%.
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