A New Zealand company tested a four-day work week. It was a massive success


Greater productivity, better work-life balance and lower stress levels. Just a few of the benefits reported by employees of Perpetual Guardian, after its two-month trial of working one less day a week.

Perpetual Guardian, which helps customers manage their wills and estates, has more than 240, all of who were still paid for five days a week during this radical experiment. The trial, which lasted from the beginning of March to the end of April, was conducted by outside researchers.


Perpetual Guardian CEO Andrew Barnes spoke with CNN after the results were released; “It was just a theory, something I thought I wanted to try because I wanted to create a better environment for my team. I’m humbled that my team has responded, and they went beyond my wildest dreams.”

According to Barnes, employees increased their productivity, and began spending less time on social media and other non-work related activities. The results forced Barnes to reconsider the way Perpetual Guardian run their business; “Why am I not paying based on output?” Barnes said. “Why am I paying for days in the office?”

According to Jarrod Haar, one of the researchers who conducted the experiment, the key to the experiment’s success was giving employees the freedom to provide their input and redesign things. One of the more notable suggestions implemented by employees, was the ability to place small flags on their desks when they didn’t want to be disturbed.


Haar went a step further, “The experiment could be a model for other workplaces and become “a revolutionary way to work.” For those who prefer statistics over rhetoric, Haar provided the following…

  • Ability to manage work-life balance increased from 54% to 78%
  • Stress levels decreased by 7%
  • Team engagement rose 20%
Kat Begonja

Kat Begonja

Lover of animals, writing and all things Croatian!

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