05/22/2020 12:11 EDT | Updated 05/24/2020 07:42 EDT

A 4-Day Work Week For The Post-Pandemic Era? New Zealand's PM Floats The Idea

Three-day weekends would allow New Zealanders to travel more -- a potential boost to this tourism-dependent country.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand ― New Zealand’s prime minister wants employers to consider switching to a four-day work week as a way to promote tourism, which has been hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Jacinda Ardern said in a Facebook Live video this week that people had learned a lot about flexibility and working from home during the nation’s lockdown, which was eased last week.

New Zealand’s tourism industry had accounted for about 10 per cent of the economy, but has ground to a halt during the outbreak.

The South Pacific nation’s borders remain closed, but Ardern said that as much as 60 per cent of tourism was domestic and that more flexible working arrangements could allow New Zealanders to travel more within their own country.

Ardern said she would encourage employers to think about whether or not a four-day work week is something that would work for their workplace, “because it certainly would help tourism all around the country.”