New Zealand firm may introduce permanent four-day week after successful trial
A New Zealand company which has been testing a four-day week says the landmark trial has proven so successful it may now make the move permanent.
Perpetual Guardian, which helps customers manage wills and estates, said all 240 employees had reported greater productivity, better work-life balance and lower stress levels during the experiment.
Staff across 16 offices worked four eight-hour days through March and April â" but crucially were still paid for five. Outside academics were brought in to collect and s tudy the resulting data.
"It was just a theory, something I thought I wanted to try because I wanted to create a better environment for my team," CEO Andrew Barnes told CNN. "I'm humbled that my team has responded, and they went beyond my wildest dreams."
In a survey of staff taken late last year, only 54 per cent of respondents said they felt able to manage their work-life balance. After the trial, that number jumped to 78 per cent. Stress levels decreased by around seven per cent, while metrics used to measure team engagement rose by around a fifth.
Mr Barnes said employees also became more productive, spending less time on social media or non-work activity. One staff member told the CEO he had stopped looking at emails from his wife about an apartment search during work hours.
"What happens is you get a motivated, energized, stimulated, loyal work force," said Mr Barnes. "I have ended up with statistics that indicate my staff are fiercely proud of the company they work for because it gives a damn."
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The key to the experiment's success was the staff input, said Jarrod Haar of Auckland University of Technology, one of the researchers who conducted the experiment. âThey were given the freedom to redesign things," he said.
As a result, workers themselves came up with productivity-boosting initiatives throughout the trial â" such as small flags to place on their desks when they wanted to avoid being disturbed.
The companyâs board is now considering the recommendation they go four-day for good.Source: Google News New Zealand | Netizen 24 New Zealand