Four-day working week trial could become permanent for New Zealand firm Four-day working week trial could become permanent for New Zealand firm

Four-day working week trial could become permanent for New Zealand firm
06 Aug 2018

A New Zealand company that trialled paying staff the same for doing a four-day week as a five-day one is planning to make the change permanent.

Andrew Barnes, chief executive of Perpetual Guardian, which manages trusts, will and estate planning, told the New Zealand Herald: "The next thing is that I need to get the board to approve the recommendations in the next few weeks."

During March and April, Perpetual Guardian’s 240 employees earned their usual fulltime pay for doing a four-day week. The company invited academic researchers Jarrod Haar, a professor of HR management at the Auckland University of Technology, and Dr Helen Delaney, a senior lecturer at the University of Auckland Business School, into the office to observe the impact of the trial. They found there was no fall in output. 

Barnes said: "What we've seen is a massive increase in engagement and staff satisfaction about the work they do, a massive increase in staff intention to continue to work with the company and we've seen no drop in productivity." 

The leadership team also reported there was “broadly no change in company outputs pre- and during the trial”. There was likewise “no reduction in job performance and the survey data showed a marginal increase across most teams", he added.

Barnes pointed out that focusing on productivity rather than the number of hours worked could help address the problem of gender inequality in the workplace. He argued that if for example, a new parent could fulfil their workplace obligations in fewer hours, there was no reason why they should not earn a full salary.

But Barnes also acknowledged there were various issues to be considered when rolling out a four-day-week. Employment rules – from legislation through to the payroll system – are still largely based on the number of days and hours worked, with the amount of holiday accrued based on the amount of time spent in the office.

"We have to do a little bit of detailed work to ensure that we can comply with employment legislation when we bring this type of four-day week process into the mainstream and make it permanent," he said.

 Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

OTHER ARTICLES THAT MAY INTEREST YOU

The art of divergent thinking to foster success

Finland scraps universal basic income experiment

Singapore's 2018 Budget highlights

 

 

A New Zealand company that trialled paying staff the same for doing a four-day week as a five-day one is planning to make the change permanent.

Andrew Barnes, chief executive of Perpetual Guardian, which manages trusts, will and estate planning, told the New Zealand Herald: "The next thing is that I need to get the board to approve the recommendations in the next few weeks."

During March and April, Perpetual Guardian’s 240 employees earned their usual fulltime pay for doing a four-day week. The company invited academic researchers Jarrod Haar, a professor of HR management at the Auckland University of Technology, and Dr Helen Delaney, a senior lecturer at the University of Auckland Business School, into the office to observe the impact of the trial. They found there was no fall in output. 

Barnes said: "What we've seen is a massive increase in engagement and staff satisfaction about the work they do, a massive increase in staff intention to continue to work with the company and we've seen no drop in productivity." 

The leadership team also reported there was “broadly no change in company outputs pre- and during the trial”. There was likewise “no reduction in job performance and the survey data showed a marginal increase across most teams", he added.

Barnes pointed out that focusing on productivity rather than the number of hours worked could help address the problem of gender inequality in the workplace. He argued that if for example, a new parent could fulfil their workplace obligations in fewer hours, there was no reason why they should not earn a full salary.

But Barnes also acknowledged there were various issues to be considered when rolling out a four-day-week. Employment rules – from legislation through to the payroll system – are still largely based on the number of days and hours worked, with the amount of holiday accrued based on the amount of time spent in the office.

"We have to do a little bit of detailed work to ensure that we can comply with employment legislation when we bring this type of four-day week process into the mainstream and make it permanent," he said.

 Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

OTHER ARTICLES THAT MAY INTEREST YOU

The art of divergent thinking to foster success

Finland scraps universal basic income experiment

Singapore's 2018 Budget highlights

 

 

Leave a Reply

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing