TEDx Auckland Talk – The Four-Day Week

The 4 day week is the future of work. When Andrew Barnes trialled this groundbreaking flexibility model at the company he founded in New Zealand, he discovered productivity, engagement, job satisfaction, work-life balance and employee wellbeing had never been better - so the business adopted it full-time. Media, business leaders, and consumers around the world wanted to know how he did it, and how they can introduce flexible working arrangements in their own workplaces - and here, Andrew explains where he got the idea, how he introduced the 4 day week in his business, and what others need to know to play their part in changing how we work, for good. In 2019, Andrew Barnes’ book and podcast series about the four-day week, and the future of work is set to be released so he can continue to encourage businesses to take up this revolutionary practice. Andrew has made a career of market-changing innovation and industry digitisation. Most recently, in New Zealand, he triggered a revolution of the entire fiduciary and legal services industries, and the transformation he has led as the founder of Perpetual Guardian has positive implications both locally and globally. This was evidenced by his announcement of the four-day week, which made headlines around the world reaching an audience of over 4 billion people from 35 different countries and leading change in government thinking in Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

Andrew is a director of Complectus Limited, the company encompassing Perpetual Guardian and several other trustee businesses. He is the director of Coulthard Barnes, chair of the Regional Facilities Auckland board, and chairman of New Zealand payroll provider, PaySauce. PaySauce recently launched a new draw-down service to give employees interest-free access to money they have already earned as soon as they earn it, and is aimed at preventing people having to resort to pay day lenders (which charge up to 700% interest on small loans).

View on TEDx

High Altitude Podcast Presents:

Andrew Barnes, The Man Behind the Four Day Week Initiative

Andrew Barnes chats with Dr John Peebles about various topics including innovation, change management, philanthropy, entrepreneurship, the military, leadership, team engagement and the 4 day week initiative.

As a business leader with 240 staff at Perpetual Guardian, Andrew’s vision is to change the future of work by challenging old structures and establishing inventive measures to help people be their best at both work and home. Andrew's implementation of Perpetual Guardian's Four Day Work Week, a 2018 eight-week trial which gave all staff a full day off at full pay every week, was a global first that sparked widespread conversation about flexible working arrangements, productivity and employee engagement. 


The Perpetual Guardian Four-Day Week

In 5 March 2018, Perpetual Guardian embarked on what it believes is a world-first among privately held companies anywhere in the world: it started an eight-week trial that involved all 240 staff around New Zealand and sought to test productivity, motivation and output by changing the work model to give every staff member a paid day off each week. All other employment conditions, including remuneration, remained unchanged – so staff worked 30 hours but were paid for 37.5, and were asked only to deliver the same amount of output as in a standard week.

The company embarked on the trial with the expectation that it might not provide all the answers but could be a big step towards making business work better for people and the bottom line. In order to make the trial useful on a local and global economic and productivity scale, Perpetual Guardian engaged academic partners The University of Auckland and Auckland University of Technology (AUT) to measure the outcomes of the company’s employee engagement and publish the results. Based on the outcomes, Perpetual Guardian initiated the Four-Day Week on a long-term, opt-in basis across its business from 1 November 2018.