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New Zealand's Prime Minister Suggests the Entire Nation Move to a 4-day Workweek

In late April, New Zealand began the long process of lifting its coronavirus lockdown. Residents are now able to travel to work, order takeout, and gather in small groups. To help boost tourism, the nation’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, has one more idea in mind: four-day workweeks. While taking part in a Facebook Live video chat, Ardern shared her thoughts on a shortened workweek, suggesting that it may help boost domestic tourism. She also noted that it may even help people find a better work-life balance. Ardern explained that 60% of New Zealand's tourism comes from domestic travel, so employers giving people an extra day to explore their own neighborhoods may be just the thing the nation’s economy needs to get moving again. Even large companies are getting on board with the condensed workweek idea. In 2019, a Microsoft subsidiary in Japan tested the "Work-Life Choice Challenge," a summer-long program allowing workers to test out a four-day plan for the month of August. During that time the company saw its staff productivity increase by almost 40%.