Australian Companies Embrace Four-Day Workweeks in Competitive Bid for Talent

Australian businesses are increasingly offering four-day workweeks to employees, with no reduction in pay, as they seek to attract talent and stay ahead of competitors in the post-COVID-19 era [1][2]. The number of Australian organisations providing compressed working weeks, such as full-time hours over four days rather than five, has risen by 29% over the last four years [2][3].

Some Australian companies have begun participating in a six-month pilot study that started in August, led by not-for-profit 4 Day Week Global, which includes 20 businesses across Australia and New Zealand [5][6]. The trial offers employees reduced working hours without a loss in pay and aims to assess the impact of a four-day workweek on productivity, employee satisfaction, and overall company performance.

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation’s (ANMF) Victorian branch has also made a submission to an inquiry, advocating for the reduction of full-time weekly work hours from 38 to 32 hours or four days instead of five [7]. The union argues that this change would provide employees with better opportunities to balance work and personal responsibilities.

Data from software company Citrix reveals that 85% of Australians would prefer a shorter work week if their employer offered it, though only 19% would accept a pay cut for the privilege [9]. The 100:80:100™ model allows workers to receive 100% of their pay for 80% of their time, in exchange for a commitment to maintaining at least 100% productivity [10]. A key benefit of the four-day workweek is its positive impact on the environment, as explained by 4 Day Week Global research partner Professor Juliet Schor in her recent TED talk [10].

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