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26 March 2019 Posted by 

Staff satisfaction soars with a 4-day working week

DALLAS SHERRINGHAM
GOING to a four-day working week could be a big benefit to many Central Coast businesses according to recent research.
Studies in New Zealand and Britain showed workers in trials had averaged 20% more productivity in four days than the traditional five.
 
According a report on the ABC, when New Zealand financial services company Perpetual Guardian began a trial of a four-day working week early last year, many employers and policymakers watched with interest.
 
Under the eight-week trial, Perpetual Guardian switched its 240 staff from a five-day to a four-day week and maintained their pay.
 
The results were promising enough that in November last year management gave staff the choice to opt into the policy and work 30 hours instead of 37.5.
 
It was a popular move amongst many staff, as you can readily understand.
 
The experiment was monitored by the University of Auckland and Auckland University of Technology. 
 
Their research found productivity increased in the four days worked by 20%, which meant there was no drop in the total amount of work done.
 
Staff wellbeing and satisfaction pre-trial and post-trial showed:
•Stress levels: Down from 45% to 38%.
•Work-life balance: Up from 54% to 78%.
•Leadership: Up from 64% to 82%.
•Commitment: Up from 68% to 88%.
•Stimulation: Up from 66% to 84%.
•Empowerment: Up from 68% to 86%.
 
It also found that - compared to a staff survey in 2017 - employees felt less stressed and more simulated, empowered and committed.
 
"Employees spoke of the need to 'have each other's backs' in order to make the new policy work," University of Auckland's Dr Helen Delaney said.
 
"Many employees also spoke of increased levels of intellectual stimulation and creativity during the trial.
 
"A number of employees said the trial had helped increase their confidence and help them have more say over how they worked.
 
"Some felt more confident about making decisions and being proactive - a sentiment echoed by management."
 
Could it work  on the Coast? Many of us are currently working long hours and many want to work fewer.
 
Australia ranks ninth among developed countries in the world for its share of long-hour workers - people who usually work more than 50 hours each week.
 
A national survey found 26% of all employed persons would prefer to work fewer hours, while 16% would prefer to work more. 
 
The idea is catching on. The NZ company says it has received 350 requests from 28 countries, including Australia, for its how-to-guide for making the switch to shorter hours.
 
The UK's Wellcome Trust, the world's second-largest research donor, has announced it is considering a trial that will see all 800 head office staff moving to a four-day week.
 
Access would love to hear your comments on the idea, whether you are a business owner or an employee.
 


editor

Michael Walls
Publisher
P: 0407 783 413
E: Michael@accessnews.com.au

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Central Coast Business Access (CCBA) covers the business and community issues of the NSW Central Coast region. CCBA is a prime media source for connecting with the pulse of the region and tapping into it's vast opportunities.