New World Group is launching a pilot scheme for a four-and-a-half-day work week this summer to promote work-life balance and improve its employees’ physical and mental health.
In a press release issued on Monday, the Hong Kong conglomerate said that it would trial the scheme, which grants employees half-day leave every Friday with no adjustment in salary, with several of its suitable business units.
In addition, employees may also choose to work remotely one day per week.
The company said the pilot measures will be implemented from July to September and they will be evaluated thereafter.
If, for specific work reasons, certain employees in the selected business units cannot take advantage of the new arrangements, the group said it would make alternative flexible work arrangements that are suitable for them to help them achieve a healthy work-life balance.
“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,” the release read.
The property conglomerate’s move comes as more companies around the world experiment with a four or 4.5-day work week to improve their employees’ well-being and increase productivity.
More than 3,300 employees at 70 UK companies last month began a trial, working a four-day week with no reduction in pay.
However, such trials are rare in Hong Kong, which surveys have shown has some of the longest average working hours per week in the world.