A New Zealand company tested a four-day week versus a five-day week

A New Zealand company tested a four-day week versus a five-day week

78% of the company’s 240 employees felt they could better manage their work-life balance. 86337226/alotei-fotolia

The head of this wealth management company’s goal was to find out if by giving his employees more time for their personal lives, they would be more productive on workdays. The experience was a great success for them.

Work less to earn more? In New Zealand, the head of a wealth management company experimented, for two months, with working four days a week for five, which led to a reduction in weekly working hours from 40 hours a week to 32 hours, according to the company’s website. New Zealand Herald. It was a great success. At the end of the experiment, which was closely monitored by researchers, 78% of the 240 employees felt they were better able to manage the balance between their work and private lives. Previously, just over half (54%) said they had found their way there.

Despite the reduction in working time, the researchers also observed lower levels of stress than usual and increased motivation among the teams. “Employees were more productive and efficient,” says Helen Delaney, a lecturer at the University of Auckland Business School, quoted in the New Zealand newspaper. Satisfaction shared by the company’s president, Andrew Barnes, who confirms that the reduction in working hours had no impact on the weekly tasks of employees, nor on the company’s results. He added: “If parents can spend more time with their children, why is that a bad thing?”

This is a measure that is not on the agenda in France

Be more productive by working fewer hours? warns labor sociologist Danielle Lenhart, director emeritus of research at the National Center for Scientific Research. “We can’t just sit on a triumphant note. You have to look at it over time. Employee productivity may be high at first. But burnout and fatigue are also likely to set in over the long term. People may take longer to recover and may not get the most out of their days Leave them all 3. The demand for profitability and productivity during more intense work hours can also lead to increased suffering and unhappiness at work or even a loss of meaning.

In France, can we consider working four days a week? In the world of the 35-hour week, a compressed work week is not on the agenda. This idea is defended by a group on the left, such as former presidential candidates Jean-Luc Mélenchon and Benoit Hamon, who advocated a four-day week in their platforms in 2017, or by the CGT which has since called for a 32-day week. An hour a week for a long time. The 32-hour concept was tried under the right in 1996, at the initiative of centrist Gilles de Robin. But for twenty years, with the introduction of the 35-hour work week, successive governments have continued to circumvent this rule, often described as a “straightjacket”. The current government is also considering eliminating overtime contributions by 2020.

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