From March onwards, Malaysian agency GO Communications will end working hours at 1 pm on Fridays in a move to implement 4.5 working days a week. Other terms such as employee salary and working hours from Monday to Thursday will remain unchanged.
Cutting the workweek is uncommon practice in Malaysia, as well as the region.
"This was indeed a calculated strategy for us, based on research and results," said CEO Peter de Kretser. "Variations of the shorter work-week have worked for a number of companies in Europe, the United States, New Zealand and Japan to superb effect.
"We could very well be the first agency in Malaysia or even the region to implement a 4.5-day workweek but I'll bet it won't be long before more companies here implement similar changes."
Needless to say, employees took to the news positively. "[They] have welcomed the news very positively and are excited to see how this will benefit their work processes, work quality and overall work life balance," de Krester told PRWeek.
De Krester added that today's tech-powered workplace has increased efficiency, and businesses should be able to design working hours around that.
"Gone are the days when working late and long hours and burning the midnight oil was the norm, which often result in employee fatigue and diminished results," he said.
As to how he will measure the success of this new policy, de Krester said that the agency undertakes a colleague mapping system to closely monitor performance engaging with each team member on a regular basis to track trajectory and growth levels.
"We also have an internal happiness index that monitors cultural performance. We believe with the introduction of 4.5 day working weeks, client work performance will also improve and we will be reaching out to our client base for feedback and commentary," he said.
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