Perpetual Guardian’s Four-Day Week a Hit
Auckland company Perpetual Guardian has declared their landmark trial of a four-day working week an “unmitigated success”, with 78 per cent of employees feeling they were able to successfully manage their work-life balance, an increase of 24 percentage points.
Two-hundred-and-forty staff at Perpetual Guardian, a company which manages trusts, wills and estate planning, trialled a four-day working week over March and April, working four, eight-hour days
Academics studied the trial before, during and after its implementation, collecting qualitative and quantitative data.
Perpetual Guardian founder Andrew Barnes came up with the idea in an attempt to give his employees better work-life balance, and help them focus on the business while in the office on company time, and manage life and home commitments on their extra day off.
Barnes said he would take the results of the trial to the board to open up a discussion on how a four-day work week could be implemented long-term in his company.
“If you can have parents spending more time with their children, how is that a bad thing?” asked Barnes, who believes the new work model has the potential to profoundly impact society for the better.
Helen Delaney, a senior lecturer at the University of Auckland Business School, said employees’ motivation and commitment to work increased because they were included in the planning of the experiment, and played a key role in designing how the four-day week would be managed so as not to negatively impact productivity.
“Employees designed a number of innovations and initiatives to work in a more productive and efficient manner, from automating manual processes to reducing or eliminating non-work-related internet usage,” Delaney said.
Original article by Eleanor Ainge Roy, The Guardian, July 18, 2018.
Photo by Murdo Macleod.