We’ve been writing about other countries trialing the four-day work week for over a year now. First, there was Iceland, then Spain and the UK followed suit plus a few other places since then. Each time we hoped that the four-day work week—albeit a trial at first—would make its way to Australia because two days off per week just no longer cuts it.
Well, that time has come because 20 Australian companies have signed up to the ANZ Pilot Program for “a coordinated, 6-month trial in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific”.
New Zealand not-for-profit advocacy group 4 Day Week Global is running the trial and in Australia, companies from a range of industries, from finance and retail to health, technology and construction, have signed up.
In Britain, the trial began just last week. There, workers have begun working only four days per week while still earning their full salary. In return, workers must maintain the same level of productivity as their previous five-day week.
Joe O’Connor, pilot programme manager for 4 Day Week Global, said: “More and more businesses are moving to productivity focused strategies to enable them to reduce worker hours without reducing pay.
“We are excited by the growing momentum and interest in our pilot program and in the four-day week more broadly.
“The four-day week challenges the current model of work and helps companies move away from simply measuring how long people are “at work”, to a sharper focus on the output being produced. 2022 will be the year that heralds in this bold new future of work.”
According to news.com.au, “Mortgage brokerage More Than Mortgages, social enterprise Our Community, marketing agency The Walk and mental health organisation Momentum Mental Health are among the organisations taking part in the Australasian trial.”
Speaking to 9Now, Our Community staff member David Bradley said, “There was a little bit of concern we may not get everything we need to get done but as Dennis said, evidence suggests the additional rest and motivation from that great work experience and work-life balance will enable us to maintain and probably improve productivity.”
And no, workers will not be working extra hours when in the office.
On its website, 4 Day Week Global says, “A hundred years ago, we moved from working six day weeks to five, and we’re overdue for an update.”
We couldn’t agree more.
Preparation for the start of the pilot in Australia has commenced, while the six-month pilot program kicks off in August.