Unilever experiences a 4-day workweek in New Zealand

Unilever’s Rotterdam office (Getty Images)

Four working days for five pay: Like having a bridge every week. It’s the pilot project announce Give Unilever, the giant of brands like Lipton and Dove, for 81 employees in New Zealand. “In the wake of the revolution that Covid has brought into the world of work, the pressure for a four-day week is growing more and more,” explained Nick Bangs, managing director of Unilever in New Zealand. “Given the strong growth the company is experiencing, this is the perfect time to try something very ambitious. We want to increase productivity and improve people’s well-being at the same time.”

Employees will be free to choose the days of work and rest during the week. The trial will run for a year, at the end of which Unilever will assess the numbers for the New Zealand branch along with the University of Technology Sydney Business School. He will then decide whether to extend the life of the system and whether to extend it to other employees, out of the 150,000 employees in the world.

Unilever Experience

“Through this initiative, we want to remove barriers to value creation and to judge performance not on time, but on results,” Bangs added. Unilever has been inspired by the work of Andrew Barnes and his team, Perpetual Guardian.

Referring to the New Zealand estate planning firm that first tested a four-day week in the country. The test, which lasted two months, yielded results that would convince Perpetual Guardian to make the reduced hours permanent: +20% in productivity, lower employee pressure, revenue stability, and lower costs. Later, Andrew Barnes also created a non-profit organization to support the transition to the four days of the week.

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A few months before the launch of the trial of Unilever, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda ArdernAnd may happen of four days a week as a tool to help recover from the pandemic.

A similar experiment was conducted by Microsoft, which closed its Japanese offices for all Fridays in August 2019. According to the data released by the company, productivity increased by 40% compared to the same period in the previous year. Also in 2019, the Russian Prime Minister Dmitriy Medvedev He stated that “in all likelihood, future employment contracts will be on a four-day-a-week basis.” On the same days, a Bank of England analyst predicted that the four-day system would replace the five-day system by 2050.

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