And, after the successful experiment, the company has instituted the four-day work week permanently.
“What we’re trying to do is allow people to be the best they can be in the office and outside the office,” Perpetual Guardian managing director Andrew Barnes said on The AM Show.
“Our stress levels went down and people’s perception of being able to work and handle the workload also improved.
“Why shouldn’t New Zealand be the first country in the world to introduce absolute flexible working, to get everybody down to a four-day week?”
Barnes, however, is anticipating a potential conflict with New Zealand’s existing Employment Relations Act.
“The Employment Relations Act is actually defined in terms of hours in the office, time of start, time of finish. So what we’ve had to do is give you a normal contract that says you should work five days, and we gift you a day off,” he added.
“Our legislation isn’t fit for purpose. It encourages companies to put employees on contracts, the gig economy if you will, and to use people on contact.”