A New Zealand company tried a four-day work week, and surprise — it was a massive success
The five-day work week is one we’ve all grown used to. It’s probably why we can’t get enough of holidays that allow us to have Monday off — but for some, even a paid holiday is a luxury. But just because something’s normal doesn’t mean it’s correct. And that’s why we’re so glad that a company in New Zealand, called Perpetual Guardian, is experimenting with a four-day work week.
During the six week trial, which is still ongoing, employees at the trustee company were paid the same as if they were working all five days. It’s such a break in routine that many at Perpetual Guardian literally had no idea how to treat the time off because it felt like such a rarity.
"I hadn’t yet programmed that routine into my life," Kirsten Taylor, an employee and single mom, said in an interview with The Guardian. "I thought: I don’t know when the next one of these is coming, I better get everything done. I don’t think I did it well, but heck it was a productive day!"
Here’s the thought process behind the four day work week — employees will be able to use the day to focus on themselves and their families, and then come to work more refreshed and energized than ever.
They also might enjoy their company a little more, as their company seems to value their time outside the office. It’s a win-win situation in our eyes.
"People have been training for marathons, going to the dentist, getting their car serviced, or doing the shopping for their elderly parents," Christine Brotherton, Perpetual Guardian's head of people and capability, said to The Guardian. "All the stuff that has been put on the back burner, but either helps themselves or their family. Life administration."
After the six weeks are completed in mid-April, they’ll bring the data to two different New Zealand universities to analyze.
After that, they’ll make a call as to whether or not the time adjustment improved things around the office.
While we haven’t seen it, we’re guessing that employees are much more optimistic at work with the time they’ve been given to better themselves. Taylor noted to The Guardian that she thinks everyone is on board with the new routine, and nobody can imagine going back to the old schedule.
We’re hoping that more companies take note and offer up a four-day work week. It’s a small change, but it could do wonders for our productivity.