The four-day work week is good for business

This spring, a New Zealand company tried a new experiment: Employees could work four standard days instead of five, but would be paid their usual salary. Newly released numbers from a study of the project, which lasted eight weeks, show that it worked. Workers’ sense of work-life balance went from 54% to 78%. Stress went down. And the missed hours didn’t affect job performance, which actually slightly improved.


The head of the company, a trust and estate planning firm called Perpetual Guardian, was inspired to make the change after reading about research showing that the average British employee is productive only 2.5 hours a day. “I thought, well, that’s interesting,” says CEO Andrew Barnes. “If I gave people a day off a week to do all the other stuff that got in the way–all the little problems that you might have outside of work–would you then get better productivity in the office in the four days when people worked?”
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