New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern was hailed by many when she announced that coronavirus had been eliminated from the country. The popular PM’s swift actions in containing the deadly virus and her subsequent planning to re-open businesses were commendable.
Recently, the PM announced flexible working options to help employees address persistent work/life balance issues, reports the Guardian. She suggested employers consider a four-day working week to promote tourism as the industry looks to recover from the pandemic.
“New Zealand could definitely go to a four-day week in the aftermath of COVID, and in fact it would be a strategy to rebuild the economy and particularly the hard-hit tourism market as it pivots to a domestic focus,” PM Ardern was quoted saying.
Go @JacindaArdern and NZ! People who are refreshed, rejunvenated and happy are more productive and creative. They would also spend more on that extra day off and even start another small business, therefore good for the economy! #4dayworkweek #innovationchallenge #covid19 https://t.co/i8UaWTDIjI
— Anna Reeves (@AnnaKReeves) May 21, 2020
She mentioned that a shortened workweek is definitely a decision between employers and employees, but that there are certain lessons we can learn from the pandemic, reports ABC News. One of the major takeaway being the flexibility of people working from home.
“We need to retain all the productivity benefits working from home has brought, including cleaner air and a lack of gridlock lost productivity from commuting while helping businesses stay afloat.”
I need to move to New Zealand https://t.co/G2PktHErNH
— TBI🇯🇲 (@normaican) May 21, 2020
“We have to be bold with our model. This is an opportunity for a massive reset,” she added. During a Facebook live, she said that reducing the number of working days will not only help people maintain a work-life balance but also help promote domestic tourism since international travel is still barred.
“The productivity that can be driven out of that really encouraged people to think about, if they’re an employer and in a position to do so, to think about whether or not that is something that would work for their workplace. Because [a four-day workweek] certainly would help tourism all around the country,” the PM said. PM Ardern is doing a great job of promoting the economy during these testing times.