New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has suggested a four-day working week in the wake of COVID-19 as a way to help the NZ workforce achieve a work/life balance and encourage local tourism.
Ardern floated the idea of a shorter work week during a Facebook Live after a visit to Rotorua. While her words have excited the nation, the PM says it’s ultimately up to employers to decide if reduced hours could work for their staff.
“I hear lots of people suggesting we should have a four-day week. Ultimately that really sits between employers and employees. But as I’ve said there’s lots of things we’ve learnt about COVID and that flexibility of people working from home, the productivity that can be driven out of that,” Ardern says.
“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 their workplace because it certainly would help tourism all around the country.
“Go and see New Zealand!”, Ardern says.
Just finishing up a visit in Rotorua – thought I’d share some of the things coming through from our tourism industry…
Posted by Jacinda Ardern on Monday, 18 May 2020
Ardern also mentioned the Trans-Tasman “Bubble”, which would see borders between Australia and New Zealand open up before the rest of the world. Of course, Australians can’t wait to see this come to fruition, and it seems Ardern is doing what she can to support the idea, too.
“Australian tourists are a big part of the market here and it would be great to see that return. We’re doing what we can to support all of that work being done at the border. So, that when we’re in a position here in New Zealand, and when Australia is in a position to safely re-open borders, that we can do that.”
With borders re-opened, and a four-day work week in place, it’s predicted that New Zealanders would feel more inclined to travel further and explore their own backyards. And we happen to think this plan would work well in Australia, too.
Are you listening, Scomo?