Switching to a four-day work week can improve productivity by up to 20% while lowering stress levels, according to a trial conducted by New Zealand financial services company Perpetual Guardian.
The trial lasted for eight weeks and involved all 240 staff employed at the company. Each staff member was given a paid day off every week and were asked to deliver the same output as they did in a standard work week.
The study was monitored by the University of Auckland and Auckland University of Technology.
Employees worked 30 hours and were paid for 37.5 hours, and the study found that their work-life balance and stress levels improved significantly under the trial conditions.
Stress levels lowered from 45% to 38% during the trial, and work-life balance increased from 54% to 78%.
The study also found that other metrics including leadership, empowerment, commitment, and stimulation saw notable increases during the trial period.
Despite only working four days a week, employees delivered the same output as they did in a standard five-day period.
“It’s not just having a day off a week – it’s about delivering productivity, meeting customer service standards, and meeting personal and team business goals and objectives,” said Perpetual Guardian founder Andrew Barnes.