The latest lockdown is a little less gloomy for staff of Auckland-based Vista Group.
The NZX-listed maker of global cinema management and marketing software has introduced half-day Fridays for all staff from today.
And it's not like Andrew Barnes' four-day week where staff have to present an efficiency plan to complete four days' work in five for a shortened week; Vista CEO Kimbal Riley says the half-day has no strings attached and will be on full pay.
Vista has around half of its 650 staff in NZ, and around half offshore - including its US operation, where half-day Fridays have been trialled, along with some other locations.
"Summer Fridays is a bit of a thing in some parts of North America. It was very popular there and worked well in terms of productivity. So we liked that and have expanded it globally."
Vista staff have put in hard yards since the outbreak began - which has obviously been challenging for a company that works in an industry that's been often locked down. The hard work has paid off, with Vista shares up 64 per cent for the year.
But Riley says the company has broader benefits in mind rather than Summer Fridays being a short-term "thank you" perk.
"We're doing this to look after our people, helping them balance work and personal lives," Riley says.
Vista half-day Friday trials overseas "have been very well received and not impacted productivity nor customer service".
"So we've gone global."
The move certainly won't hurt recruitment efforts, or retention, at a time of an acute tech skills shortage.
A rash of corporate good measures recently has included Westpac's move to give staff five days a year of wellbeing leave.
"By offering this leave we're giving our people more opportunity to balance work time and family time, without having to choose between the two. We know that is important to them and we also believe a healthier workforce is good for business," Westpac NZ HR boss Marc Figgins said.
Figgins said as a society New Zealanders were now much more aware of the importance of wellbeing and was placing a higher premium on being mentally and physically well.
"By offering this leave we're giving our people more opportunity to balance work time and family time, without having to choose between the two. We know that is important to them and we also believe a healthier workforce is good for business."
But Callum Francis, the finance spokesman for First Union, said the wellbeing leave had come through its collective bargaining with the bank after it asked Westpac to match BNZ's six weeks annual leave.
BNZ increased its annual leave from four to six weeks in 2020.
"We went into bargaining with them and proposed six weeks. Members had said they were adamant it shouldn't be anything less than five and originally their wellbeing leave actually came with a number of conditions - it wasn't just about wellbeing."
Francis said in the original conditions workers would have had to use three weeks of their annual leave first before being allowed to apply for the wellbeing leave, and that staff would not be paid out for outstanding wellbeing leave when they left the bank.