Firms Explore Four-day Working Week

Since the novel coronavirus pandemic struck earlier this year, many firms have introduced remote working and more flexible hours, arrangements they say are likely to linger even after concerns about the virus abate.

However, many question whether these newly-introduced practices improve or lower workers’ productivity.

But interest in a shorter working week pre-dates the virus. In 2019, Microsoft Japan reported a sales boost of 40% when it reduced the working week there.

Unilever New Zealand’s trial of a four-day work week will run from December 2020 to December 2021. The firm is working with Sydney’s University of Technology Business School researchers to measure how performance fares.

Unilever, which employs more than 150,000 people globally, has been active in New Zealand for more than 100 years. Its operations on the island are focused on import and distribution. All 81 employees there are eligible to participate.

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