Barnes conducted an experiment in his own business, the New Zealand trust company Perpetual Guardian, and asked his staff to design a four-day week that would permit them to meet their existing productivity requirements on the same salary but with a 20% cut in work hours. The outcomes of this trial, which no business leader had previously attempted on these terms, were stunning. People were happier and healthier, more engaged in their personal lives, and more focused and productive in the office.
The world of work has seen a dramatic shift in recent times: the former security and benefits associated with permanent employment are being displaced by the less stable gig economy. Barnes explains the dangers of a focus on flexibility at the expense of hard-won worker protections, and argues that with the four-day week, we can have the best of all worlds: optimal productivity, work-life balance, worker benefits and, at long last, a solution to pervasive economic inequities such as the gender pay gap and lack of diversity in business and governance.
The 4 Day Week is a practical, how-to guide for business leaders and employees alike that is applicable to nearly every industry. Using qualitative and quantitative data from research gathered through the Perpetual Guardian trial and other sources by the University of Auckland and Auckland University of Technology, the book presents a step-by-step approach to preparing businesses for productivity-focused flexibility, from the necessary cultural conditions to the often complex legislative considerations.
The story of Perpetual Guardian's unprecedented work experiment has made headlines around the world and stormed social media, reaching a global audience in more than seventy countries. A mix of trenchant analysis, personal observation and actionable advice, The 4 Day Week is an essential guide for leaders and workers seeking to make a change for the better in their work world.
Andrew Barnes has made a career of market-changing growth and innovation. He was chairman of realestate.com.au at the time of its IPO on the ASX, led the sale of Bestinvest, a $5.7 billion UK wealth management business, to private capital and as managing director was instrumental in the creation and listing of Australian Wealth Management Limited on the ASX.
Most recently Andrew triggered a revolution of the entire fiduciary and legal services industries in New Zealand, and his conception of the four-day week - the flexible work revolution - has made him a globally sought-after leader. He speaks to international audiences on the future of work and subjects such as governance, philanthropy, business leadership, entrepreneurship, company culture and change management.
Andrew lives in the United Kingdom and New Zealand. He holds a Master of Arts in Law and Archaeology from Selwyn College at the University of Cambridge.