A New Zealand company is making headlines for an experiment it conducted with its staff. For two months, the 240 employees at Perpetual Guardian worked a 4-day workweek (32 hours), but they were paid their usual salary for a 5-day workweek.
During the experiment, Perpetual Guardian staffers said they found daily strategies to be more efficient. For example, two-hour meetings were cut down to 30 minutes. Workers said that the change motivated them to find ways to increase their productivity while in the office.
Employees were not only more productive—they were happier. Employees reported a 24% improvement in work-life balance, and they came back to work energized after their days off. Many said they were able to spend more time with their families, while also doing more exercising, cooking, and gardening.
Supervisors noticed staff members were more creative and punctual, while also having better attendance. The staff’s actual job performance remained the same when working over the course of four days instead of five.
“They worked out where they were wasting time and worked smarter, not harder,” said Jarrod Haar, one of the researchers.
The company found the experiment so successful that it actually wants to make the change to a 4-day workweek permanent.
I talk about issues like this in my book “Work Sucks!: A Funny View of a Serious Problem,” which you can find on Amazon by clicking here.