New Zealand firm makes 4-day workweek official

Careerbuilder predicts big job growth over next five years

Careerbuilder CEO Irina Novoselsky on the state of the U.S. job market.

The New Zealand company that tested a four-day workweek has officially implemented the policy after a trial run was deemed a success.

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Perpetual Guardian, an estate-planning business, announced this week that its board signed off on the measure, after the company’s CEO put in a formal request to make it official earlier this year.

Employees will still be paid for five days of work. Workers also have the option to continue working five days if they wish, with more schedule flexibility, according to The Financial Times.

The abridged workweek study, involving 240 employees and conducted over two months, showed that when working one less day employees were able to maintain their job performance, while overall stress levels were reduced. Before the four-day workweek trial went into effect, staff stress levels were recorded at 45 percent. Afterward they fell to 38 percent.

Team engagement also rose, with measures for leadership, commitment, stimulation and empowerment rising between 18 and 20 percentage points between 2017 and a post-trial survey.

And, unsurprisingly, the ability to manage work-life balance improved to 78 percent from 54 percent.

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Perpetual Guardian CEO Andrew Barnes told CNN the results from the study went beyond his “wildest dreams.” He also questioned why he was paying his staff for the number of days spent in the office instead of their output.

After the trial, Perpetual Guardian said it has received inquiries about the results from more than 50 businesses.

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