New World Group to pilot 4.5-day work week from July to September this summer

New World Group to pilot 4.5-day work week from July to September this summer

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New measures will be implemented in New World Development, K11, and the NWS Corporate Office, which will be evaluated thereafter.

To adapt to the new normal of flexible working, Hong Kong's conglomerate New World Group has announced the optimisation of its family-friendly measures, by experimenting with a four-and-a-half-day work week and a work-from-home day from July to September this summer.

Under the new initiative, the group will adopt several pilot measures to help its employees maintain a healthy work-life balance and improve their physical and mental health.

Such measures include:

  • 'Summer Fridays', where employees are entitled to half-day leave every Friday with no adjustment in salary;
  • Employees may choose to work remotely one day per week, while maintaining close contact with their team and being provided with the latest technology and technical support; and 
  • Adopting a hybrid work model to allow employees to more flexibly arrange their working hours and locations.

These pilot measures will be implemented in several business units of the group, such as New World Development, K11, and NWS Corporate Office, and they will be evaluated thereafter. If certain employees of these business units cannot enjoy the 'Summer Fridays' arrangement for specific work reasons, alternative flexible work arrangements will be made.

The group hopes that the measures will improve employee wellness so that they will be better motivated at work and perform efficiently, creating a win-win situation.

This is especially relevant, given over 60% of local respondents of Randstad Employer Brand Research study voted “work-life balance” as the most important employee value proposition. The survey also found that 65% of women considered “work-life balance” to be the top employee value proposition factor they look for in an ideal employer.

This emerging advocacy of work-life balance and flexible working has also been increasingly seen across the globe. One of the most prominent examples is the United Kingdom, where approximately 70 companies in the country have piloted a four-day work week since June.

Numerous large multinational enterprises have also introduced measures to shorten the work week or reduce working hours in recent years, such as multinational sportswear brand Nike, Japan’s Panasonic Corp. and fashion brand UNIQLO, the UK’s app-based bank Atom Bank, and Korean technology company Kakao.

Image / Unsplash

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