Findex Group’s Crowe Australasia offers nine-day fortnightly to hundreds of employees

Findex Group's Crowe Australasia offers nine-day fortnightly to hundreds of employees

Findex Group’s Crowe Australasia offers nine-day fortnightly to hundreds of employees

Findex employees will work nine days a fortnight. 340 workers get every second Friday off

Hundreds of Aussies are reaping the benefits of a shorter working week after their employers permanently adopted a nine-day fortnight – giving them 26 long weekends a year.

Australian auditing firm Findex made the nine-day fortnight permanent on Wednesday after trialling a shorter working week for six months.

A financial advisory and accounting services firm in Australasia found that a nine-day fortnight improved the health and engagement of its employees.

Under Findex Group’s auditing arm, Crowe Australia, 340 staff get every second Friday off in exchange for nine days of extended work.

Crow Australia senior audit manager Mori Fathalla said the three-day weekend got him through a ‘difficult time’ as he struggled with a heavy workload.

Findex Group’s Crowe Australasia offers nine-day-a-fortnight (stock image) to hundreds of employees

Mr Fatallah added the extra day off gives him flexibility for medical appointments and personal admin, allowing him to keep his weekends free for his family.

‘We all know how good it is to have a long weekend. So imagine doing it regularly rather than a few times a year,’ Mr Fatallah told the Australian Financial Review.

Findex Group co-chief executive Matt Games said the new model allows employees to balance their work and personal lives.

Findex Group co-chief executive Matt Games explained the nine-day fortnightly trial showed that employee health and engagement improved without reducing productivity.

Mr Games explained that the working model was tested during the company’s busiest period last year and brought out the ‘best in employees’.

‘It’s not all work for profit. It’s about overall profit. And when people are in a good place [overall]They certainly do better,’ said Mr Games.

He added that the main consideration was to introduce a nine-day fortnight without inconveniencing customers.

The business decided that the benefits of employees having the same day off outweighed the inconvenience of clients not being able to communicate with employees once every two weeks.

Mr Games said one benefit of the nine-day fortnight was that flexible working arrangements attracted new workers, with almost three-quarters of applications listing it as one of the reasons they applied for the job.

The trial also found that the nine-day fortnight helped with employee retention, with employee departures falling by 10 percent during the trial period.

Mr Games said flexible working arrangements had opened up senior roles for women looking to return to the workforce.

‘This opens up some of our senior roles to people who either need the flexibility to return to the workforce or return to the workforce full-time,’ Mr Games said.

‘So this is a big advantage for working mothers and [people] That’s the way it is.’

The nine-day fortnight was made permanent for Crowe’s 340 employees in Australia and New Zealand, while a similar model will be trialled across Findex’s wealth division.

Mr Games believes the initial three-month trial will be as successful as the nine-day fortnight and hopes it will become a permanent fixture for the resource department.

It comes after Bunnings Warehouse began a similar trial in May offering employees a four-day work week or nine-day overnights.

It comes after accounting firm Grant Thornton began a similar nine-day fortnight trial in March and Bunnings began a four-day working week trial in May.

Bunnings has become the first Australian retailer to trial a four-day working week with its 40,000-strong workforce.

Full-time Bunnings workers will be given the option of working a four-day or nine-day fortnight instead of five in their 38-hour week.

Gerard Dwyer, national secretary of the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association, said the deal was a ‘significant step forward for work-life balance’.


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