- Workers at Unilever ANZ are trialling a four-day working week, following a successful 18-month trial in New Zealand
- Staff will retain full salaries while working reduced hours, and the business still expects its targets to be met
- Advocates for the four-day week say spending fewer hours at work can improve productivity and wellbeing
So how does a four-day week actually function, should it be more common, and is Australia ready for it?
How does a four-day week work?
Through the Unilever Australia trial, staff will be able to choose the day they don’t work, or spread the reduced hours across the week.
Workers will also be able to split their four days between home and the office.
What are the benefits?
Unilever’s 18-month pilot in New Zealand showed strong results against business targets, including revenue growth, with stakeholders and partners agreeing the team continued to complete work on time and to high standards.
Research has also found positive benefits of having fewer meetings.
“From a neurobiological perspective, our prefrontal cortex – the part of our brain that does the heavy lifting – gets exhausted.”
What have other countries done?
In October, Labour MP Peter Dowd tabled a bill to the UK Parliament to reduce the maximum weekly work hours from 48 to 32.