Momentum for a four-day work week is growing in the wake of the Covid-19 upheaval of standard working practices, says Nick Bangs, Managing Director of Unilever New Zealand.
“This is an exciting moment for our team and a validation of the catalytic role Covid-19 has played in shaking up standard working practices.
“Unilever NZ’s strong growth trajectory as a business makes this the perfect time in our life cycle to drive something new and ambitious.”
“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.”
To enable the move to the 4-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.
“We’re not working to a playbook,” said Mr Bangs. “We trust our employees to do the best for the company and will give them the support and resources to innovate and make their own decisions.”
“Essentially, this is about a holistic understanding of how work and life fit together, and improving mental and physical wellbeing. We look forward to sharing the lessons from this trial with other Kiwi businesses, in the hopes of influencing others to reflect on their own ways of working.”
Unilever NZ imports and distributes a variety of consumer essentials, including Lipton, Bushells, Dove, Rexona, Lynx, Vaseline, Persil, Surf, Continental, Toni & Guy, Choysa, Ben & Jerry’s and Streets. Its staff members are mostly based at its Newmarket headquarters, though many work remotely as part of the company’s commitment to flexible working.
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