I’m still very much trying to track this down, but a friend pointed me to an article in Bloomberg about Yusaku Maezawa, the Japanese billionaire who founded online clothing company Zozo, and who recently made a small splash for buying a ride on Elon Musk’s still-to-be-built spaceship. He sounds like a fascinating guy:
Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa says working less, not more, is the reason why he’s been able to build an $8.4 billion company, become a major force in the art world and land a ticket on Elon Musk’s rocket to the moon…. [Maezawa] goes to the office three to four days a week, for a maximum of six hours at a time. The short workday is the reason for the success of Zozo, where he also encourages employees to work more efficiently and find inspiration outside the office.
And he’s not the only one at the company who works less than the Japanese average of 168 hours per week.
“Our employees began working differently under the program: they stopped wasteful activities, wasteful conversations, wasteful meetings. As a result, they could concentrate more, be more productive, and actually go home after six hours,” Maezawa told reporters at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan in Tokyo, where he held a news conference to answer questions about the lunar trip.
Zozo, which changed its name this month from Start Today, embraced six-hour workdays in 2012, a spokeswoman said, adding that each department tweaks its implementation. She said the idea of working intensely over fewer hours is a core principle of the company’s culture. As of March, the company had about 1,000 employees.
I haven’t yet been able to reach people at the company, but I definitely want to learn more about their six-hour day. With a thousand employees, they may be the biggest company in the world who’s adopted a six-hour day.