A New Zealand company tried a 4-day work week and the results were so impressive that they’re considering making the change permanent. Even though employees at the firm Perpetual Guardian were paid for five days of work, they only worked four while also increasing productivity.
Employees overwhelmingly loved the change because they were able to still get their job done but had more time for all the other parts of life like families, friends, etc. Earlier this year, the company told employees that for March and April they’d be paid for 40 hours but work 32 while researchers monitored the experiment to see what the results were. Supervisors said staff were more creative, their attendance was better, they were on time, and they didn’t leave early or take long breaks. In fact, their actual job performance didn’t change when doing it over four days instead of five.
Tammy Barker, a senior client manager at Perpetual Guardian, said the experiment helped her focus her concentration. “I made a point of doing one thing at a time, and turning myself back to it when I felt I was drifting off,” Barker shared. “At the end of each day, I felt I had got a lot more done.” The experiment motivated employees to increase productivity so meetings that used to last two hours were shortened to 30 minutes. People also communicated when they needed distraction-free time. They worked out where they were wasting time and worked smarter, not harder. In addition to increased productivity, the firm’s employees reported a 24 percent increase in work-life balance. . Researchers said folks came back to work more energized than before thanks to the extra day off.