In early 2018, Perpetual Guardian founder Andrew Barnes announced that to help improve employee wellbeing and raise productivity, the company was going to trial a Four-Day Week. After reading about the serious disparity between time spent at work and actual productive output in the Economist, Andrew decided to test productivity and staff engagement levels in his own 240-person business.
Independent qualitative and quantitative academics were engaged to measure the impact the initiative had on employees and business output, to give tangible insights for leadership and board consideration before (potentially) full implementation.
Nothing of this scale had been done before. It was a blank canvas to play on.
The game-changing initiative propelled the New Zealand brand to global recognition with media from 60+ countries reporting to a worldwide audience of over 4.5 billion people.
Staff stress levels went from 45 percent before the trial to 38 percent afterwards; work-life balance rose from 54 percent to 78 percent; and team engagement and empowerment rose from 68 percent to 86 percent. Crucially, productivity levels were maintained over the four days.
The success meant the 4 Day Week was implemented as permanent opt-in policy in November 2018. The conversation hasn’t stopped there. Businesses and individuals across the world are contacting the team regularly to talk about this new concept of working.
Read our both our case studies about our work on the 4 Day Week here: