Four-day week: Australia is starting too

More than half of Unilever’s 900 Australian employees will try out the four-day week from November 14. report it financial times. A decision made after a first positive test that affected 80 employees of the multinational stationed in New Zealand for eighteen months.

“We saw strong business performance and noted high employee engagement. The staff is happier and more motivated. The time spent in meetings has also decreased. We believe that in the future the companies that offer more flexibility will be among the most attractive employers, those that will benefit from a more motivated workforce”, explains a Unilever manager.

During the test carried out in New Zealand, observed in real time by researchers from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS Business School), absenteeism was reduced by a third, as highlighted, in terms of the time spent in meetings has been reduced. to 3.5 hours per person per week. Staff members also sent fewer emails. Good communication between managers and staff was essential to the success of the experiment. “The reorganization of the points does not happen overnight. The process takes time and adjustments.”

At Unilever, the four-day week will be combined with remote work: employees will be able to work two of the four days from home.

The four-day week is gaining ground in the world, says the financial times. Large-scale tests have already been carried out in the United States, Canada and Ireland. And in the UK, dozens of small businesses across all sectors have adopted the four-day week permanently.

However, several challenges remain to be met. For example, it is not certain that employees can always take time off from work during their extra day off. Another problem: at Unilever, the employees who work in the three production units in the country will not be affected by the test that is about to begin. The introduction of a two-tier system, in which certain categories of staff still have to work five days, is likely to be a stumbling block.

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Vince Fernandez

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