The Four-Day Week is here



Andrew Barnes, Perpetual Guardian founder and creator of the Four-Day Week crystallises the global conversation in this TEDx Talk.


Raising Productivity and Engagement

In association with Coulthard Barnes, Perpetual Guardian, The University of Auckland, Auckland University of Technology and MinterEllisonRuddWatts.

Introduction to the Four-Day Week

Andrew Barnes, Perpetual Guardian founder

At Perpetual Guardian we set out to test our assumptions about productivity through a company-wide trial, the results of which have made headlines around the world. The rise of the gig economy represents a new industrial era, and we have not had a conversation about its implications for our economy and society. With the work we are doing in our company and now this white paper, we seek to generate useful data and insights to share with organisations that wish to develop their own productivity and flexibility policies. Thank you for reading.



It’s not just having a day off a week - it’s about delivering productivity, meeting customer service standards, meeting personal and team business goals and objectives.”
— Andrew Barnes
When we started everybody’s initial reaction was ‘how am I ever going do my work in four days rather than five’. So the fact that the trial indicates that not only could they do their work in four days, but they could do it better in four days, is something I find extraordinarily surprising.
— Andrew Barnes

Top Recommendations

  • Give employees plenty of time to think about how they can work differently and encourage them to come up with their own measure of productivity.

  • Encourage staff to consider how they can organise time off within teams while still meeting customer and business imperatives.

  • Begin with a trial and engage outside consultants/academics to evaluate qualitative and quantitative measures of success.

  • Consider introducing an opt-in policy for employees/departments on an annualised basis. An opt-in form can keep track of an employee’s productivity measures and roster information, as well as linking it to company values.

  • Establish clear personal and team business goals and objectives.  

  • Consider seasonal workflow differences and ensure the policy can flex appropriately.

  • Be clear that the aim of the initiative is to improve things not just in the context of the company but also as regards the wider social obligations. 


“All the evidence suggests that productivity will either hold steady or go up. We were only working four days, not five, so productivity within the day had gone up 20%.”


Andrew Barnes is an entrepreneur and philanthropist who founded New Zealand’s largest corporate trustee company, Perpetual Guardian. He’s also the mastermind behind the Four-Day Week – an initiative that has made headlines around the world.