Published On: Sat, Jul 28th, 2018

New Zealand company tried 4-day workweeks — and they want to keep it going!

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In March and April, Perpetual Guardian’s 240 employees worked four-day workweeks (32 hours instead of 40) — and were paid for five.

Now, according to The New York Times, Perpetual Guardian, a firm that manages trusts, wills, and estates, is hoping to make the new work schedule permanent.

During the trial, Perpetual Guardian had researchers study the effects on its employees.

“Supervisors said staff were more creative, their attendance was better, they were on time, and they didn’t leave early or take long breaks,” one of those researchers told The Times. “Their actual job performance didn’t change when doing it over four days instead of five.”

Perpetual Guardian posted a video clip on YouTube of CEO Andrew Barnes announcing the beginning of the trial. At first, employees are gathered around Barnes for what must have seemed like a typical staff meeting — but when Barnes makes his announcement, eyes widen and you can hear murmuring and giggling.

People can only do concentrated work for a limited number of hours

A blog post on Perpetual Guardian’s website hails the trial as a “world-first” — but in fact, other companies have made similar changes.

Amazon has experimented with having employees work 30 hours a week, while earning 75% of their normal salary and keeping all their benefits.

And technology education company Treehouse has had a 32-hour work week since 2006.

There’s science behind these changes. The research of psychologist Anders Ericsson, who studies the development of expertise, suggests that people can only do concentrated work for about four or five hours at a time.

“If you’re pushing people well beyond that time they can really concentrate maximally, you’re very likely to get them to acquire some bad habits,” Ericsson said.

Andrew Barnes, managing director of corporate trustee company Perpetual Guardian.

Andrew Barnes, managing director of corporate trustee company Perpetual Guardian.

Source: Mexico News Network



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