Wednesday, 30 Nov 2022

Australian workers at global company to trial four-day week after success of New Zealand pilot

Australian workers at global company to trial four-day week after success of New Zealand pilot


Australian workers at global company to trial four-day week after success of New Zealand pilot

British multinational Unilever will expand its trial of a four-day work week to staff in Australia after a successful 18-month pilot in New Zealand.

The company behind Dove soap, Domestos cleaning products and Magnum ice-cream announced on Wednesday it would continue the trial in New Zealand and expand it to Australia for an initial 12 months.

Under the New Zealand trial, which ran from December 2020 to June 2022, 80 employees worked four days a week at 100% of their pay, while committing to 100% effort for the business.

The company reported that there were strong results meeting business targets, while absenteeism dropped 34% and the staff in the trial reported a 33% drop in stress and a decrease in work-life conflict of 67%.

Sheralyn Eckford, a channel and category development manager based in Auckland, said she used her extra day to run errands and do pilates before the weekend.

The company reported being able to cut down on projects and processes during the week to free up more time for staff. Employees recommended fewer but more efficient meetings, less email, and the adoption of more efficient online communication.

Unilever worked with the head of the department of management at University of Technology Sydney Business School, Prof Bronwen Dalton, to monitor the trial.

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