“I already have many people who suggest we have four days a week. In the end, it really is between employers and employees,” Ardern said.
However, the idea has advantages because it might give domestic travelers “flexibility in terms of their travel and leave,” he added. Ardern noted that 60% of New Zealand’s tourism industry came from local residents.
“There are many things we have learned about Covid and the flexibility of people working from home, productivity that can be pushed out of it,” he continued.
The prime minister encouraged employers to consider allowing more flexible work arrangements – including long distance work and spending more time on fewer days – if possible, “because that would certainly help tourism throughout the country.”
A four-day work week has become more popular recently as employers explore whether tighter schedules can increase productivity.
By working only four days a week, all employees report higher productivity, better work life balance and reduce stress, according to the company, which has around 240 staff.
The results are promising: While the amount of time spent at work is cut dramatically, productivity – measured by sales per employee – rises nearly 40% over the same period a year earlier, the company said.
As a result, Microsoft announced that they would follow up with other experiments in Japan, and also asked other companies to join this initiative.