Unilever is to begin a year-long trial of a four-day week at its offices in New Zealand with the aim of changing the way work is done, not increasing the hours worked over four days.
From 7 December, 81 employees at the consumer goods organisation, which owns brands such as as Marmite, Domestos and TreSemmé, will to participate in the trial, which will pay employees for five days while they work only four.
Following the trial, Unilever will evaluate the outcome and look at how a shorter working week could work for the rest of its 155,000 employees globally.
Nick Bangs, managing director of Unilever in New Zealand, said: “If we end up in a situation where the team is working four extended days then we miss the point of this. We don’t want our team to have really long days, but to bring material change in the way they work.
“It’s very much an experiment. We have made no commitments beyond 12 months and beyond New Zealand. But we think there will be some good learning we can gather in this time.”