What happened when a company tried four-day work weeks

A New Zealand company that tested four-day work weeks plans to make the switch indefinitely.

Perpetual Guardian, a business that assists people with wills and estates, trialled working one less day each week for two months.

It found employees responded to the experiment with greater productivity, better work-life balance and lower stress levels.

A New Zealand company tested four-day work weeks and found the experiment so productive it planned to make the move permanent. Source: Getty, stock

The week’s job performance was maintained over just four days, work-life balance jumped from 54 per cent pre-study to 78 per cent, and team engagement levels increased significantly.

The 240 employees were still paid their full-time wage during the experiment, which ran from March to April and was conducted by third-party researchers.

“It was just a theory, something I thought I wanted to try because I wanted to create a better environment for my team,” Perpetual Guardian CEO Andrew Barnes told CNN.

“I’m humbled that my team has responded and they went beyond my wildest dreams.”

Work-life balance jumped from 54 per cent pre-study to 78 per cent, and team engagement levels increased significantly. Source: Perpetual Guardian

Mr Barnes said employees became more productive and spent less time on social media or non-work activity.

The boss has recommended to the company board to make the four-day work permanent and even said the model could set an example for other companies worldwide.