The four-day working week appears to be gaining momentum in Australia, with one of the country’s biggest private health insurance companies the latest to join in on the action.
Medibank is challenging the long-entrenched traditional ways of working, launching a six-month trial of a four day work week for 250 of its employees.
The trial has been designed with 4 Day Week Global and will be monitored and measured by Macquarie University to refine over time.
Beginning this month, the experiment, dubbed “The Gift” will be based on the 100:80:100 model, where employees maintain 100% of their pay, reduce their working hours to 80%, while maintaining 100% productivity.
For full-time employees, The Gift equates to one full day and is pro-rated for part-time employees.
Medibank Group Lead Kylie Bishop said that while the company was already extremely flexible, this was the next step in driving a more innovative and high-performance culture.
“We’re really wanting to bring the future of work into the now of work,” she said.
“For more than 18 months now, we’ve been exploring how we can work smarter, offer greater flexibility, and create the best health and wellbeing for our people, in support of our customers.
“There are lots of pressures out there right now, whether it’s cost of living or people managing their work and home commitments.
“We’re constantly thinking about how we can help balance that for our people and invest in their health and wellbeing to help prevent issues like burnout.”
Those participating in the experiment said it would give them more time to focus on their health and wellbeing, including more time for rest, family, friends, exercise, cooking and hobbies like gardening, music and golf.
More than 250 Medibank employees will take part in the 6-month trial, including part-time employees and frontline customer teams.