career

A company made every weekend a three-day weekend. And you're going to like these results.

A firm in New Zealand trialled giving their employees a four-day work week whilst still paying them their full-time salary, concluding it to be an absolute success.

The experiment, done by Auckland-based company Perpetual Guardian, was so successful that the chief executive, Andrew Barnes, requested to the board that it become permanent.

Yep, that’s right. A three-day weekend AND your full-time salary.

The trial ran for eight weeks in March and April in 2018 and they invited two academic researchers to conduct the experiment, studying the workplace before, during and after the implementation.

The results showed that staff stress levels reduced by seven percentage points – from 45 per cent pre-trial to 38 per cent post-trial. It further found that the work-life balance of their 240 employees improved significantly by more than 20 per cent.

With employees working less hours –  from 40 hours a week to 32 hours – there was the obvious risk of reduced productivity, but according to these results, the output of their workers didn’t actually change.

four day work week
A three-day weekend? Yes please. Image via Getty.
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"Our leadership team reported there was broadly no change in company outputs pre and during the trial." Mr Barnes told the New Zealand Herald. "They perceived no reduction in job performance and the survey data showed a marginal increase across most teams."

Mr Barnes also shared the great benefits this would give to parents, especially mothers returning from maternity leave. He stated if workers could produce the same amount of work in less hours, then it makes sense to still give them the same full-time pay.

"If you can have parents spending more time with their children, how's that a bad thing?" Mr Barnes said.

A mother of two, Tammy Barker, who works for Perpetual Guardian spoke to the New York Times about what this change meant on her work, saying: "Because there was a focus on our productivity, I made a point of doing one thing at a time, and turning myself back to it when I felt I was drifting off. At the end of each day, I felt I had got a lot more done."

So, ah, maybe just slip this article onto your employer's desk somehow...

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