Global Company Unilever To Trial Four Day Work Week In New Zealand
If the trial is successful, the idea could be rolled out worldwide and affect the company's more than 155,000 staff.
Kiwi employees will still get paid the same as if they were working a 40-hour week, however they won't be required to work an extra two hours a day to make up for the time off.
Nick Bangs, managing director of Unilever New Zealand, wants to improve flexibility in the company and hopes this will be a massive step forward.
"From a practical standpoint it doesn't work literally turning the lights off for a particular day. So what we have got is very much a staggered approach," he said.
"This is about the ultimate form of flexibility. We want to work through it with each individual and say, 'What is going to work best for you to enable you to be at your best?'"
Staff will either get to do two half days or one full day off and they will be on different days to everyone else to ensure the whole office isn't empty on a single day.
The move will also be extended to part-time staff, who will be able to work 80 per cent of their hours for 100 per cent of their pay, according to the New Zealand Herald. Mr Bangs hopes the 12-month trial will show an improvement in staff morale and output.
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"We have got very big business ambitions that don't go away at all. And we need to find a way of being able to juggle the obvious benefits that this brings from an employee wellbeing perspective but also fundamentally change the way we work," he said.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she was keen to explore the possibility of a four-day work week in the post-pandemic world.
Sadly, it's not an idea that can be mandated by the Prime Minister, however Ms Ardern has told her followers on a Facebook Live video that it could be beneficial.
She said: "I hear lots of people suggesting we should have a four-day work week.
"Ultimately, that really sits between employers and employees. But as I've said there's just so much we've learnt about Covid and that flexibility of people working from home, the productivity that can be driven out of that.
"Think about if that's something that would work for your workplace, because it certainly would help tourism all around the country."
A four-day work week has been shown to do wonders for some offices that have made the switch.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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