In pursuit of a 4-day work week, significant changes to work culture needed

Many here offer flexible arrangements but significant changes to work culture needed

SAP employees (from left) Wang Libin, Vicky Windsor, Erica Sutedja, Bipasha Dowerah, Lu Hongwei and Tina Bhatia have taken part in either the Four-Week Phased Integration Back to Work initiative or Back-to-Work programme offered by the software firm
SAP employees (from left) Wang Libin, Vicky Windsor, Erica Sutedja, Bipasha Dowerah, Lu Hongwei and Tina Bhatia have taken part in either the Four-Week Phased Integration Back to Work initiative or Back-to-Work programme offered by the software firm to help women who have been out of the workforce for a while ease back into or return to the professional sphere.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

For most employed adults around the world, the work day is defined by the 9am to 6pm grind, an eight-hour day that is replicated five days a week.

But a firm in New Zealand threw convention out the window earlier this year when it tried out a four-day work week - meaning employees were paid for 40 hours of work, despite having to work only 32.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 24, 2018, with the headline 'Firms urged to do more to help staff work smart'. Subscribe