While South Africans are wearing themselves out with the daily grind, this company in New Zealand is out here reducing its employees’ work-week from five days to four.
That’s right – they were given an extra day to knock off and live life to the max.
Now before you explode in a jealous rage, let me just add that this isn’t a permanent arrangement.
The company, Perpetual Guardian, was merely running a test trial for its 240 staff to see if it successfully struck a balance between work and home roles.
The Guardian has the results, and it looks promising:
The New Zealand company behind a landmark trial of a four-day working week has concluded it an unmitigated success, with 78% of employees feeling they were able to successfully manage their work-life balance, an increase of 24%.
Two-hundred-and-forty staff at Perpetual Guardian, a company which manages trusts, wills and estate planning, trialled a four-day working week over March and April, working four, eight-hour days but getting paid for five …
Perpetual Guardian founder Andrew Barnes came up with the idea in an attempt to give his employees better work-life balance, and help them focus on the business while in the office on company time, and manage life and home commitments on their extra day off.
Someone give Barnes a Nobel prize or something, please.
The trial resulted in huge increases in job and life satisfaction, motivation and commitment, with employees enjoying – and performing better in – their jobs:
In November last year just over half (54%) of staff felt they could effectively balance their work and home commitments, while after the trial this number jumped to 78%.
Staff stress levels decreased by 7% across the board as a result of the trial, while stimulation, commitment and a sense of empowerment at work all improved significantly, with overall life satisfaction increasing by 5%.
The employees are also to thank for the trial’s success, as they were involved in the planning of the experiment, designing how the four-day week would be managed so that productivity can continue on smoothly.
Lovely. South African workplaces and transport hubs could learn something from these guys.
Will this new work model spread to other businesses, and hopefully come to our shores one day?
New Zealand’s workplace relations minister Iain Lees-Galloway’s response raises hopes:
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.
Today, New Zealand. Tomorrow (or a few years down the line), the world.
Fingers crossed, guys.
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