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South Africa Announces 4 Day Week Pilot

The four-day week is being adopted all over the world in a bid to improve productivity and wellness in the workplace. Now South Africans can try it too. In a joint initiative between 4 Day Week Global and the 4 Day Week SA Coalition, South African businesses are invited to join a pilot, with planning starting in November this year.  

With Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace 2022 Report showing that only 24% of South African workers are engaged at work and only 29% are thriving in their overall well being, the time is ripe to relook not just where we work, but how, when and for how long.

The 4 Day Week is based on the 100-80-100™ model, developed by co-founders of 4 Day Week Global, Andrew Barnes and Charlotte Lockhart, in the landmark Perpetual Guardian trial in New Zealand in 2018. The model prescribes 100% of the pay for 80% of the time, in exchange for a commitment to delivering 100% of the output.  It is being recognised as a way of supporting and empowering workers, enhancing organisational productivity and having a positive impact on societies and the environment. 

South African business owners and leaders have been watching the roll-out of the world’s biggest four-day week trial in the United Kingdom (UK) with interest. Over 70 companies are currently experimenting with this new way of working. Questions are being posed. Is South Africa ready for this?  What challenges could it help solve? And how best to go about it? 

“Being an early adopter and market leader in reduced-hour, productivity-focused working establishes businesses as innovative, progressive and forward-thinking.  The greatest risk is that your competitors try this before you do,” says Andrew Barnes.

The National Business Initiative (NBI) joins Stellenbosch Business School and a growing base of partners in the 4 Day Week SA Coalition – in support of the 4 Day Week as part of the future of work in South Africa. 

To launch 4 Day Week SA and the pilot opportunity, the NBI is hosting a webinar – on Wednesday 21 September 2022 from 10am – 12pm.  

Speakers will include 4 Day Week Global’s Barnes and Lockhart as well as Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, who is the Programme Director at 4 Day Week Global, author of the book Shorter and an expert in helping people and organisations create a “million new years of free time”.

Gugu McLaren-Ushewokunze, Head of Economic Inclusion at the NBl, will lead a discussion with local experts: Phillipa Geard, Founder and CEO, RecruitMyMoM; Candice Watson, Director, Mwangaza Talent Advisory; Professor Mthunzi Mdwaba, Chairperson of the Board, Productivity SA; and Shawn Theunissen, President of the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industries. 

All those interested in hearing more about 4 Day Week SA and the upcoming pilot can register here for the Free Webinar.

“South African companies have the opportunity to test and rethink a way of working that, if done thoughtfully, could go some way in addressing workplace challenges, and possibly our more complex societal issues,” said Gugu McLaren-Ushewokunze.