“I have had many people who have suggested that we should have a four-day week. Ultimately, this really falls between employers and employees,” said Ardern.
However, the idea has the merit of being able to offer domestic travelers “flexibility in terms of travel and holidays”, he added. Ardern noted that 60% of New Zealand’s tourism industry is from locals.
“There are many things we learned about Covid and only about the flexibility of people who work from home, about the productivity that can be driven away,” he continued.
The prime minister encouraged employers to consider allowing for more flexible work arrangements – including remote working and dedicating longer hours in fewer days – if possible, “because it would certainly help tourism across the country “.
Four-day work weeks have become more popular recently as employers explore whether a tighter schedule can increase productivity.
By working only four days a week, all employees reported higher productivity, a better work-life balance and reduced stress, according to the company, which had approximately 240 employees.
The results have been promising: while the amount of time spent on the job has been drastically reduced, productivity, measured by sales per employee, has increased by almost 40% compared to the same period of the previous year, the company said.
As a result, Microsoft announced that it would follow another experiment in Japan and also asked other companies to join the initiative.
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