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New Zealand PM Ardern floats ‘4 days a week’ as a way to help the economy after coronavirus



A deserted shopping mall in the city centre of Stockholm is pictured on March 17, 2020, as many activities came to a halt or slowed down due to the spread of the novel coronavirus. (Photo by Fredrik SANDBERG / TT News Agency / AFP) / Sweden OUT (Photo by FREDRIK SANDBERG/TT News Agency/AFP via Getty Images)
In a Facebook live video posted earlier this week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern shared advice while discussing ways to revive domestic tourism in his country. Over the past few months, the coronavirus crisis has forced people around the world to lock in and reduce global travel demand.

“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.

The New Zealand Government itself is no stranger to the idea of ​​alternative work schedules. Since 2018, several government agencies have been sign up to try out a program called “flexible work by default,” which directs employers to give their workers more freedom in various ways.
While it is up to each participating institution to decide what the arrangement is like, the government has outlined a number of possibilities – including allows people to adopt shorter work weeks, “like 40 hours for four days, or two days and nine nights.”
In 2018, the New Zealand company Perpetual Guardian, which helps customers manage their will and plantations, also held a two-month concept trial. The firm said it was very successful, that is want to make it permanent.

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.

“It’s just a theory, something I think I want to try because I want to create a better environment for my team,” founder Andrew Barnes to CNN Business at the time. “They are beyond my wildest dreams.”
Big business in other places also started to go along. Last year, Microsoft (MSFT) accepted the idea when a company team in Japan experimented with shutting down its office every Friday in August, and giving all employees extra days every week.

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.

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As a result, Microsoft announced that they would follow up with other experiments in Japan, and also asked other companies to join this initiative.

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.



Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.



Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

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