Unilever NZ to follow lead of Perpetual Guardian to Trial 4-day Work Week

Unilever New Zealand will be trialling a four day workweek for one year, representing a fundamental change in the way the company views their workforce, reports Azi Paybarah for The New York Times.

All 81 employees will earn their full salary while working a four-day week. Unilever New Zealand managing director Nick Bangs says the experiment is anticipated to boost productivity and improve employees’ work-life balance.

“Our goal is to measure performance on output, not time. We believe the old ways of working are outdated and no longer fit for purpose,” said Mr Bangs in a statement published by Unilever.

Mr Bangs is consulting with experts at the University of Technology Sydney Business School and Andrew Barnes, founder of New Zealand firm Perpetual Guardian. Perpetual Guardian made international news in 2018 when it shifted to a shortened four-day workweek, becoming a pioneer of the modern productivity-focussed flexible working model.

“We drew inspiration from Andrew Barnes and his team at Perpetual Guardian. We hope the trial will result in Unilever being the first global company to embrace ways of working that provide tangible benefits for staff and for business,” said Mr Bangs.

The four-day workweek is something that Mr Bangs predicts, if implemented permanently, will allow early-adopting firms like Unilever New Zealand to attract the top talent in their industries.

Original article by Azi Paybarah, The New York Time, 3 December 2020.

Tags: Auckland  business leadership  innovation  lifestyle  New York Times (The)  New Zealand  Perpetual Guardian  Unilever  Wellington  work life balance  

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