Unilever New Zealand to trial four-day working week

Unilever New Zealand to trial four-day working week

THE WHAT? Unilever New Zealand is set to become the first global company to pilot a four-day working week at full pay in Aotearoa. The UK FMCG giant’s 81 employees will all be eligible to participate in the trial.

THE DETAILS Those who take part will retain 100 percent of their salaries but work just 80 percent of the time.

To enable the move to the four-day week logic, Unilever will train some of its employees in Agile, a project management method that breaks work into short phases with frequent reassessment and adaptation of plans. The Agile system eliminates work that adds no value and unnecessary bureaucracy.

Unilever NZ will be working with the University of Technology (UTS) Business School in Sydney to measure qualitative results of the trial.

THE WHY? Nick Bangs, Managing Director of Unilever New Zealand explains that momentum for a four-day working week is growing in the wake of the COVID-19 upheaval of standard working practices.

“The initiative builds off Unilever’s ambition to enhance the wellbeing of both its people and business. This is about removing the barriers that limit value creation and slow us down, and focusing our energies on creating impact and delivering results,” commented Bangs. “Our goal is to measure performance on output, not time. We believe the old ways of working are outdated and no longer fit for purpose.

“We drew inspiration from Andrew Barnes and his team at Perpetual Guardian. We hope the trial will result in Unilever being the first global company to embrace ways of working that provide tangible benefits for staff and for business.”

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