In total 26 organizations took part in a 4 day work week trial
4-Day Work Week in New Zealand
Like all the other countries, different organizations have made tangible efforts to introduce 4 day work week in New Zealand. Still, it is in its early stages, and trials are being conducted to analyze the impact of the reduced working hours on different aspects.
Following the successful trial run at New Zealand-based company Perpetual Guardian in 2018, 4 Day Week Global came into existence.
New Zealand's four days work week trial results about employee well-being and business growth will overwhelm you:
- On a scale of 1-10, the trial was rated 8.2 by all the stakeholders, highlighting its success.
- The companies met 100% of their business targets while undergoing the four-day week experiment.
- The set revenue goals were met within time.
- There were no additional costs in terms of higher pay or other benefits given to employees.
- The employees worked 20% less than their traditional five-day week but achieved better results through a four-day working week.
- The extra time received as a result of the shorter working week was available as the leisure time that could be spent by the workers as needed.
- 38% of the employees felt less stressed
- The burnout stat decreased by 2/3rd during the term of the four-day week trial.
- People exercised more and slept more in addition to having a better sense of time.
- The workers could spend more time on passion projects.
- The overall work-life conflict was reduced significantly.
- Organizations witnessed a 44% decline in absenteeism, while resignations dropped by 9% in the four-day week trial.
Employees' Take on 4-Day Work Week
After this trial, most of the employees loved the concept of a four-day workweek.
- 1 in 10 employees said that they wouldn't want to go back to the traditional five-day week, irrespective of the amount of money offered.
- 1 in 3 employees demanded 26 - 50% more money to join the workspace with a 5-day week routine once shifted to a four-day working week business.
Gender Equality & Environmental Impact
With a four-day workweek, men found themselves spending more time at home, lending a hand to their families and contributing to a more balanced division of responsibilities. This positive shift contributed to an overall sense of gender equality.
This change enabled male employees to participate in family life and allowed them to step up in caregiving roles, giving their partners a chance to enjoy some well-deserved freedom.
Also, favorable environmental outcomes were noted, indicating a decrease of 36 minutes in weekly commuting time per person.
So, overall, the trial showed that a four-day workweek could boost productivity, improve employee morale and well-being, and reduce stress and burnout.
However, for a clearer picture of its impact on employee success, more trials and experiments are needed to gather solid evidence.
Unilever New Zealand Trial
Another study was conducted by Unilever New Zealand. The aim of this experiment was to analyze the impact of a four-day workweek on employee performance, productivity, and business revenue targets.
This initial New Zealand trial was an 18-month pilot project in which 80 employees participated. Within this experiment, the workers had the right to keep 100% of the salaries while working for only 80% of the time. However, the business targets were to be fully achieved.
- The results of this trial were a success. Here are a few findings:
- The employees felt more engaged to work during their four-day work weeks.
- The vast majority of staff felt engaged, and absenteeism dropped by 34%.
- The stress level decreased by 33% after an extra day off.
- The stats indicated that the work-life conflict fell by 67%.
- The individual well-being of the employees improved by 33%.
- Employees showed more strength at work. It was up by 15%.
- Even the stakeholders admitted that the business goals were fully met.
All of these stats show that the four-day workweek could bring more benefits for the employees and the organizations.
Working Hours in New Zealand
The working hours for a full-time job in New Zealand are a maximum of 40 hours per week. These don’t include the overtime. A regular work week requires employees to work Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., including a half-hour break.
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the average work week in New Zealand is 26.3 hours.
Vacation Policy in NZ
In NZ, all employees are entitled to at least four weeks of paid annual holidays. You can avail of your holidays whenever you like, usually when they are due. However, some employers might also offer advance holidays.
Moreover, you can even get one week of your holidays swapped as cash. The request has to be made in writing. To deny this request, the employer must have a solid reason.
Part-Time Working in New Zealand
Within this population, 51% of the total female population in NZ is working as a part-time worker. This is because of the added household and childcare responsibilities to be taken care of.
Remote Working in New Zealand
New Zealand encourages remote working. However, it is dependent on the will of the employee. Irrespective of the time of employment, a worker can request the employer for remote work.
The request must be made in written form and doesn’t require a specific reason for presentation. The employer can have a period of 30 days to reply back.
In case of denial, a solid reason must be provided. During COVID-19, 32% of the employees worked remotely. After the pandemic, over 75% of the employees prefer work opportunities with flexible working hours, including remote work.