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The Four-Day Workweek Movement Is Gaining Pace In Australia And New Zealand

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The Four-Day Workweek Movement Is Gaining Pace In Australia And New Zealand

The calls to have a four day work week without a cut in pay increase as trials in Australia and New Zealand commence.

Boss Hunting reports that 20 companies will be a part of Australasia’s international pilot conducted by the non for profit 4 Day Week Global (4DWG).

Andrew Barnes and Charlotte Lockhart established 4DWG to provide a platform for those interested in taking part in a four day work week to boost a better work-life balance.

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One of the companies taking part in the initiative includes the finance company More Than Mortgages. 

The founder and Principal Mortgage Broker of the company Deanna Ezzy told The Australian Financial Review that they decided to try a short work week to prevent her team from becoming burnt out and exhausted.

She said: “If you try and solve a problem with the same thinking that got you into it, you’re never going to solve the problem.

“[My business partner Natasha Condi] said, ‘What have we got to lose?’ And we started researching it and decided to jump on board.”

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Although this may be a new concept to many, businesses around the country, including debt collection agency Indebted, affiliate marketing agency Commission Factory and charitable app Good Empire have already started to implement the shorter workweek, according to Boss Hunting.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Barnes had the first successful launch for the four-day workweek after a trial with his company Perpetual Guardian in 2018.

He said of the trial: “It’s a better work-life balance, it addresses issues around the fact that one in four or five workers at any point in time have a stress or mental health issues.”

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In August 2019, Microsoft Japan Co conducted a trial of this kind for all of its employees and found that productivity rose to 40 per cent, according to MIT Sloan Management Review.

A shorter week also increased job applications by 500 per cent at Atom Bank when it announced that 430 of its employees would be working 34 hours a week and were welcome to take either Monday or Friday off.

However, Smart Company reports that when 3,000 workers across 60 UK companies participated in the experiment earlier this year, one-third of businesses didn’t notice a change in productivity.

Some businesses that rely heavily on customer service and being available five times a week even found that customer loyalty suffered due to the shorter workweek.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy.

Topics: Australia, News, Mental Health

Charisa Bossinakis
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