New Zealand food and cosmetic giant Unilever has announced that it will test the four-day work week, with no cuts in employee pay, given the New Zealand government’s proposal to revive the economy.
The group specifies that 81 employees will be eligible for the trial, which is supposed to start in December and last for a year. Depending on the results in New Zealand, the four-day workweek can be served anywhere else in the world by Unilever.
“Our goal is to measure performance in production, not on time. We believe the old way of working is gone and no longer relevant,” said Nick Bang, managing director of Unilever New Zealand.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in May brought up the possibility of switching to the four-day workweek to help revive the economy burdened by coronavirus-related restrictions, including a seven-week shutdown. It has encouraged creative ideas that will enhance flexibility in business.
The Labor leader returned to her post after winning the legislative elections in October.
Mr. Bangs said there has been momentum for a shorter work week as the pandemic has changed the work culture in the office. “This is an exciting time for our team, and a way to validate the catalytic role that Covid-19 has played in disrupting practices in the world of work,” he said.
The company hopes to increase productivity for its employees if it allows them to have greater flexibility. The results of this experiment will be analyzed by the University of Technology, Sydney.
“We are eager to share the lessons of this experience with other New Zealand companies, in hopes of inspiring others to think about their way of doing business,” Mr. Bangs added.
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