4 in 10 Kiwis believe 4-day workweek will ‘become a reality’ in 5 years

'It will be interesting to see if this optimism is justified'

4 in 10 Kiwis believe 4-day workweek will ‘become a reality’ in 5 years

Many Kiwis believe that a four-day work week can be achieved within the next five years, according to a survey from Hays.

The survey, which was carried out on LinkedIn, showed 40% of Kiwis saying that a four-day working week will "become a reality" within the next five years. Other respondents voted:

  • 12 months (16%)
  • Decade (21%)
  • Never (23%)

The findings come as four-day work week schemes spark huge debates among employers and employees alike.

"Proponents argue a four-day work week can boost productivity, improve employee morale and wellbeing, and reduce stress and burnout. At a time of talent shortages, it can also aid candidate attraction, engagement and retention," said Adam Shapley, Managing Director of Hays in New Zealand, in a media release.

However, many employers believe that four-day work weeks can decrease productivity and increase labour costs, according to Shapley.

"Despite this, it seems that many workers are optimistic about the prospect of a four-day working week becoming a reality," Shapley said.

"As organisations continue to experiment with different working patterns, it will be interesting to see if this optimism is justified and whether the four-day work week will become more widely adopted in the years ahead," Shapley said.

Four-day work week in New Zealand

Four-day work week schemes have been gaining traction across the world, even in New Zealand.

Unilever recently reported success in its 18-month pilot of a four-day work week in New Zealand in 2022.

In its scheme, all 80 employees worked 80% for a week while retaining 100% of their salaries.

According to Unilever, stress among employees dropped 33%, absenteeism plunged 34%, feelings of strength and vigour at work increased by 15%, while work-life conflict fell 67%.

Productivity also remained consistent, according to Unilever, as it reported "strong results against business targets, while 100% of stakeholders and partners said the NZ team completed work on time and to high quality.

Following its success, Unilever said it is continuing the scheme and is expanding the trial to its Australian team.

Meanwhile, a four-day work week pilot was also carried out by 20 participating firms in Australia and New Zealand in 2022 under the 4 Day Week Global.

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