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It was only in July last year that I wrote about the emergence of the four-days-work-for-five-days-pay employment model.

I highlighted Melbourne recruitment agency Rusher Rogers as a local pioneer in this trend.

The RCSA also wrote about the issue in the November 2019 issue of The Brief.

In December, Finland’s new Prime Minister, Sanna Marin, at 34 the youngest female head of government worldwide, caused headlines when her previously-stated ambition for Finland’s working week was reported. Marin, who leads a centre-left coalition in which all 5 government parties are led by women, is on record, from her time as Minister of Transport and Communications as saying:

“A four-day work week, a six-hour workday: why couldn’t it be the next step? Is eight hours really the ultimate truth? I believe people deserve to spend more time with their families, loved ones, hobbies and other aspects of life, such as culture. This could be the next step for us in working life.”

Microsoft Japan banned meetings longer than 30 minutes and trialled a four-day working week in August.

At the end of the month, employees reported feeling happier, productivity went through the roof, and running costs plunged.

Microsoft Japan’s challenge was just a pilot project and the Guardian reported that it’s unclear if these changes will be implemented in offices elsewhere or on a longer term basis. The company plans to implement another iteration of the challenge this winter.

Meanwhile in November, UK recruitment agency ISL Recruitment, reported a 38% increase in interviews and 41% more revenue since it started a 4.5-day week incentive three months ago in which employees  can finish their working week at  noon on Friday if they have hit their target that week.

The new calendar year is less than six weeks old and already there have been announcements about shorter hours for the same pay from two local recruitment agencies.

Stellar Recruitment’s Managing Director, Shaun McCambridge, announced last week that his company has moved to a nine-day fortnight for each employee, while still operating five days per week. They haven’t wasted any time promoting

Beaumont People (whose Managing Director is RCSA President, Nina Mapson Bone) announced this week that they are trailing a four day week between 1 February and 30 April 2020. It will be optional for all eligible Beaumont People internal permanent employees.

Beaumont People will communicate their progress, experience and firsthand learnings throughout the trial and have encouraged people follow their social media channels for updates.

Adding extra interest to the trial is Beaumont People’s intention to hold an event at the end of the trial, in which they will share what they have learned from the experience.

Other agency owners and leaders have spoken to me about their intentions in the area of the nine day fortnight or four day week and I expect to see many further trials being conducted throughout 2020.

The genie’s out of the bottle – what are you going to do?


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