As people prepare to return to the offices to work after working from home for months, New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden has a suggestion. She wants employers consider a four-day working week and other flexible working options. Arden believes this will boost tourism and help employees address persistent work and life balance issues.
Speaking in a Facebook live video, Ardern said many New Zealanders said they would travel more domestically if they had more flexibility in their working lives.
The country’s tourism market has taken a massive downturn after the pandemic, with all borders remaining closed to foreign nationals and many New Zealanders taking pay-cuts or tightening their belt in case of lay-offs.
“I hear lots of people suggesting we should have a four-day workweek. Ultimately that really sits between employers and employees. But as I’ve said there’s just so much we’ve learnt about Covid and that flexibility of people working from home, the productivity that can be driven out of that,” Ardern said.
“I’d really encourage people to think about that if you’re an employer and in a position to do so. To think about if that’s something that would work for your workplace because it certainly would help tourism all around the country.”