New Zealand Firm's 4-Day Work Week an 'Unmitigated Success'

Lloyd Doyle
July 22, 2018

Andrew Barnes, the chief executive at the Auckland firm, says he has already received queries from numerous companies, local and overseas, on what steps to take to roll out similar initiatives within their businesses.

"I'm really keen to work with any businesses that are looking at how they can be more flexible for their staff and how they can look to improve productivity whilst working alongside their staff and protecting terms and conditions."

Auckland University of Technology human resource management professor Jarrod Haar was extremely positive about what he found when he analysed the trial.

"That's great from a business perspective, and it's a great way to achieve better work life balance".

It's popular with many workers - either ten hours a day for four days a week - or even eight hours on four days, a 32-hour workweek. Barnes said. "Why am I paying for days in the office?"

Time spent in the office is much easier to measure than productivity, which is why workers have historically been paid in accordance to the times they check in and check out.

"Don't get me wrong: I'm a huge believer in the restorative and galvanizing power of vacations, especially worldwide travel", Clark said. They started experimenting with signals on their desks-like a flag in a small pot next to their computer-to indicate to coworkers when they shouldn't be interrupted.

Perpetual said productivity had increased 20 per cent, and staff were more engaged and enthusiastic.

However, previous year the Autonomy Institute, a think-tank which focus on the changing reality of work in society today, made renewed calls for the implementation of a four-day week across firms in general.

But he believes it's something that companies widely should adopt.

We all know that stress isn't just disgusting to deal with, it's also bad for our health - it can heighten the risk of high blood pressure and strokes, while leading to long-term mental health problems like anxiety, insomnia and depression.

Not only is workplace stress having a negative effect on employees' health but, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 66% of employees surveyed said that stress made it "difficult to focus, leading to mistakes, missed deadlines, lateness and trouble getting along with co-workers". "Why? This is about productivity".

If more companies did the same thing, it could have broader impacts. Could all the work you do in a normal week be crammed into one less day? "It's got congestion implications, it's got design implications for cities". "This gives a day off for someone to study and retrain". Employees have to be empowered to find new ways to do their work. "I own the business so I can say look, stuff it, I'm going to do it", he says. "Because if you get inadequate leadership through the process, it will fail as well".

Employees worked four eight-hour days, but still got paid for a five-day week, in March and April this year.

Furthermore, employees at Perpetual Guardian were more energized after 3 days off and using smarter tactics to increase productivity while at work.

What's intriguing about this isn't the thought of working less for the same paycheck.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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