#52 Global expert on the 4 Day Work Week – Charlotte Lockhart, Founder, Acting CEO, and Oxford University Board Member (s03ep8) | Mental Health First Aid

Aug 18, 2023

Charlotte Lockhart, is the Co-founder and MD of 4 Day Week Global, advocating for a productivity-focused, reduced-hour workplace. Charlotte is also a Board member of Oxford University's Wellbeing Research Centre and co-founder of the World Wellbeing Movement. Her company has helped oversee 4 Day Week trials in UK, US, Canada, South Africa, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. Charlotte gives us some fascinating insight into the findings of the trials.
    
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"Caring in the workplace means as leaders in organizations, we need to remember that we borrow our people from their lives. And when you think about that, it's about understanding that work is a part of people's lives, and it's a gift from them to share time with you and to do a good job while they're there."
- Charlotte Lockhart

Charlotte Lockhart, is the Co-founder and MD of 4 Day Week Global, advocating for a productivity-focused, reduced-hour workplace.

DISCUSSED IN THIS EPISODE

  • What caring means in the workplace for Charlotte
  • Charlotte’s 100:80:100 model: 100% pay, 80% time, maintain 100% output.
  • The Results show that 78% of participant employees are happier and less stressed and 97% wanted the pilot to continue
  • From an employer perspective 38% was the average increased revenue from the previous year – and 63% found it easier to attract and retain talent
  • Variations on the 4 days were include 9-day fortnight or 5 days with 20% less hours

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Transcript from the interview


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SPEAKERS

Graeme Cowan, Charlotte Lockhart

Graeme Cowan 0:05
Right. Okay, well, we’ll start now. It’s a real pleasure to welcome Charlotte Lockhart to The Caring CEO. Welcome, Charlotte.

Charlotte Lockhart 0:17
Hello, yes, I’m happy to be here.

Graeme Cowan 0:21
Alright, for our listeners that is a first for me, I’m actually doing the interview while Charlotte is driving in New Zealand. So, we’ll see how it goes. And I hope that you get there safely Charlotte.

Charlotte Lockhart 0:32
I certainly will, or you’re on your on my, you know, my Bluetooth the thing in the car, so I’m doing– I am being completely compliant at the same time.

Graeme Cowan 0:43
Excellent. What does care in the workplace mean to you?

Charlotte Lockhart 0:49
That’s a really interesting and possibly quite complex question that really has a simple answer. Caring in the workplace, I have a phrase I use a lot. Whereas business leaders, we need to remember that we borrow our people from their lives. And when you, when you think about that, it’s about understanding that work is a part of people’s lives, it’s you know, and they get– it’s a gift from them, to share time with you and to do a good job while they’re there. But we you know, if we acknowledge the fact that, you know, work as a proportion of people’s lives, but also, I think, it also reflects the fact that what is happening in people’s lives is what they bring in as who they bring to work. And so, if you’re a caring CEO, if you’re caring in the workplace, you were recognizing that people have that, you know, people are made up of all sorts of things. And sometimes, those are good things. And sometimes those are not so good things. And as you know, if we’re going to get the best out of our people, you have to take the good with the bad. It’s a bit like a marriage.

Graeme Cowan 2:08
Yeah, it’s interesting, you say that, because one of the people I’ve interviewed previously is Bob Chapman, and he’s the CEO and Chairman of Barry Wehmiller, a very large and successful industrial manufacturing company in the US. And he had an epiphany when he actually went to a wedding. And, you know, saw the bride come down the aisle, and he just really thought, well, all the family, all her family are hoping that the guy does a good job, and vice versa, and they have a happy life. And it made him reflect the same thing for his employees. And he has I think about 12,000 employees now. But he thought, you know, their families off to work for 8 or 10 or 5 hours a day, and really hoped that the group that has them looked after them and enhances their wellbeing and had them feel wanted and have them feel it making a contribution. And I love that. I love that perspective. Globally is one of the Founders of Four Week Global, would you mind just giving our listeners a quick overview about how you came to start this, this company? I think about five years ago, what led you on that path?

Charlotte Lockhart 3:33
Yes. So, we as people probably are aware we did a four-day week in our company, perpetual guardian, my partner, Andrew Barnes, was reading an economist article that was talking about the lack of productivity in the workplace, but in for the UK, it was less than three hours a day. And he– it got us thinking about what gets in the way of productivity. So, he wasn’t coming at it specifically from a wellbeing or a caring employer space, he was actually going, what gets in the way of my people being productive. And is it if I gave people more time, would it mean that they could get the things that they need to do in their personal hours, their personal lives, put together be so that when they come to work, they are more productive? And so that was the –that was his thesis that he was looking at but then of course, as we started doing this, we began to realize that it actually did a whole heap of made a major difference to people’s wellbeing. And the first email from a staff member that he got was from a solo mother who said that he had basically just given her life bag, because she was able to have a day where she got all of the life admins stuff done while the kids were still at school. And that means that when they had the weekends together, she actually she was much more relaxed, much more enjoyed the time with her children, because she just doesn’t feel like she was having to rush everything. So that wasn’t about her productivity at work, but it was about her productivity and her happiness at home. And actually, that email made Andrew cry when, when he received it. And so, I think that that’s where we started. And there was a lot of media attention and a lot of businesses interested in, in what we were doing. And a lot of academics and a few government people, not a lot back in 2018, but a few. So, we set up for day week global really is, it’s a not for profit, and we set it up more as a place to host those conversations and sort of start agitating for a change of the way that we work. And then we had a pandemic. And the interesting thing about the set through the pandemic, we partnered with a team at Kickstarter to actually create a, just an awareness campaign about reducing work time, about the four-day week. But I said to the team, we need to be careful what we wish for here. Because if we create a whole pile of desire for this, we will need people will say, well, how can I do that we will actually need a process and this and you know, effectively a business that will allow us to provide that support. So now Four Day Week, global not only agitates, and, you know, advocates for reducing work time, but we provide training to companies around the globe, to help them find a way to have a productivity focused reduced our workplace.

Graeme Cowan 6:55
Just going back to the start of the creation of that business support a week global how, obviously they lose interest, but then committing to having a partner or trial is another thing. And what did you get much pushback then? And what were the things that I guess helped get a few clients over the line to actually try it?

Charlotte Lockhart 7:19
Look, I think it before the pandemic, it was just the sort of the types of a lot of the employers will or businesses will lead by someone who was looking to maybe reduce work time for themselves. And so, you know, there’s a little bit of self-motivation, if I’m going to do it, then I will, you know, I’ll offer it to my people as well. But post during and post the pandemic, of course, we all learned that we really do borrow our people from their lives and our understanding of the fact that we can significantly change our workplaces because we all went and did remote working and that we had to run our businesses without or necessarily all being present. I can now tell you what work you’ve done, because you are– because you are, I can’t see you. But we learned how to get around some of that. And so therefore, as we’ve had the return-to-work conundrum, being really focused on by pretty much every business around the world, then we’re getting companies. I mean, the number of companies that are doing for day weeks now has just gone completely exponentially. Now, also, I might say you’ll have heard me using the term reduce work time, rather than the four-day week, we call ourselves Four Day Week Global because that was kind of really where it started. But for a lot of businesses, it would just be impossible to reduce work time permanently in one day, you know, that was that’s one of the objections. I just can’t close my offices for on a Friday. And so, the answer is don’t try what we’re talking about as a meaningful reduction in work time. That might be 20%. We advocate for 20% but you might start with a nine-day fortnight, or you might just start with reducing work time during a five-day week, what perpetual guardian does where we started with all of us. When we did the pilot, most people took a whole day off. But now what we do is let people find their own way of working a 30-hour work week. And that matters because, while there is some very good research that says giving people a whole day off is actually really quite good for them. The base suits them now It will be suit them in their job role, because last thing you want to do is create a workplace where they feel that the way that the time off is structured, causes them stress, you know, oh God, I’m gonna get it all done before Friday. Whereas I’d much rather do it this way. The other thing is, if you give people quality time off, then they’re going to use it in the way that best suits them. So, the example that I use a lot is that one of the team is our father. And he comes in five days a week at 10 o’clock in the morning, because he walks his daughter to school. Now, we could give him a whole day off, and he’d be able to walk his daughter to school one day. But he wants to do it every day. Yeah. So, he is able to walk his daughter to school every day. And that matters to– it’s very hard to keep–

Graeme Cowan 10:58
Sorry, just broke up there for a moment.

Charlotte Lockhart 11:00
I’ll go and go again. All right, so. So then, the reason why that’s important, is that if by being able to walk his daughter to school every day, that matters to them. And so, when it matters to him, he works very hard to keep his productivity out. His team members also know that that matters to him. And they value that for him. Because he also values the fact that there’s another one in his team who finished his work early, so he can collect his children from school. So therefore, as a team, you’re always looking to keep your productivity up, as a team so that you can all create this wonderful environment where you’re being productive at work and feeling good about your work, let’s face it, we all feel much better about work, when we know what our work is, and that we can, that we can be productive while we’re there. And so, it’s all of those things that added together.

Graeme Cowan 12:05
It’s interesting you say that, about the nuance of how it’s applied. Because, you know, I’ve interviewed a couple of people on the podcast that have actually tried it. And they’re both recruiting companies, funnily enough, one Friday, it worked for them fantastic and similar stories for the particular mums heard about it, they actually tried, you know, hearing about the implication it would have for their lives, which is great. Another recruitment firm tried it Four Day Week and found that it worked quite right for them. But they found that a nine-day fortnight did. And so, they try that. And I think that’s just really part of it, isn’t it having an open mind about how we can make that better? I love those two examples you gave where two fathers wanted the body, one took the afternoon to have greater contact with their kids. And honestly, I just so regret that possibility was around when I was a father, when I had younger kids that would have made the two difference.

Charlotte Lockhart 13:05
Absolutely. And if you know, because one of the things that of course, the four-day week, is starting to make a difference to sorry, I’m just going to get rid of that call coming in. Sorry about that, listeners, I had another call coming in. So, one of the things about the, about the one of the things about the– it being time off for men, of course is it gives us the ability to create a more gender balanced workplace. Women take time off, in a way, that’s what we do, right. And when I say I was never as good at it as I should have been, but it is socially acceptable for women to be taking time out. And we’ve done so much to pull women up in the workplace and to be generous to women about them taking time off and all those sorts of things. There’s really a bit patriarchal, really, but we’re never done enough to help men out of the workplace. So, one of the things about having a reduced time in a workplace is about making it possible and actually possibly forcing your entire organization to so even let me not say that very, very lightheartedly, but there are men are given the same opportunities to feel that it is okay to prioritize their other things. And our research shows that there is an increase in family fathers who spent more time not only just with their children, but also more with more household and, and family duties. And so, if we, you know, if we want to be a caring CEO, if we want to have that we’re, what we’re recognizing is, it’s not just about being nice to our people when they’re at work, but actually accepting that we could be part of creating a better society. If you look at this father that’s taking his daughter to school, here he is building this really strong relationship with his daughter. And we know that children and daughters, particularly who have strong relationships with their fathers, are healthier females, when they become grown, they grow up, they’re healthier women. So therefore, this is a thing that has given this gentleman an opportunity to give his daughter the best opportunity in life, to be, you know, to be a good stable and emotionally put together woman. And so, there’s– the other thing that he says, you know, it’s I’m just gonna keep using this example, because it’s quite valid. One of the things he also says, as you know, his wife doesn’t work for a four-day week company, unfortunately, we’re at reduced company. So, she, but she’s able to get up in the morning and get herself out the door and not have to worry about all of the things. And so therefore, her morning is a lot calmer, it’s better actually, for their relationship, because she’s not as stressed with all of the rushing route. And then he and it’s her first daughter wants to play for a couple more minutes before they walk out the door. She can. And so therefore, the whole family, the tempo of the family in the mornings, is so much calmer that actually everybody’s days a spring from that.

Graeme Cowan 16:36
Yeah, yeah. It is amazing how the interest has grown so much. And, you know, I read about the big pilot was done in the UK. And I understand that you were instrumental in that pilot, we were just explaining to our listeners about what was involved there. And, and I guess the results, what was the outcome?

Charlotte Lockhart 17:01
Yeah, so we wrote, so we run pilots all around the globe, and they are UK pilot, that one was our largest one at the time, we had just over 60 companies involved in there. And so, what, so what does a pilot look like? A pilot basically, is where you spend a couple of months before piloting, on getting yourself structurally right for the task. So that means, you know, working through what are the things that you’re going to do differently? You know, how are you going to measure things? What are you going to measure and just making sure that you’ve got the pilot set up properly? Plus, also, you get, you do benchmarking for the research. So, we’ve got this baseline level on our research that we are able to then measure a year against, it’s as we move forward, what did we find? Well, so we found, obviously, that there are all of these wellbeing measures that were there’s, so you know, that’s a taken as given. People’s stress went up, went down, their, their fatigue went down, their ability to manage their workplace that manage their jobs, was improved. One of the things that I really liked was that their insomnia, sleep patterns improve their insomnia went down. And if you think about that, as a wellbeing measure, we know that the quantity and quality of sleep is actually a really big measure of how healthy you will be not just mentally healthy, but physically healthy, too. And it actually also means you might live longer. So, there’s all of that aspect of it. So, there’s all these lovely things that came out there. But what we also found was that there were a lot of business measures that actually make it valuable, and in sensible and a good business decision to reduce work time. So, you had things like absenteeism went down 65%. If you think about that, how expensive is absenteeism in your business? You know, so for some of us, it’s just a bit of a pain in the ass and but it does mean that you have to pick up the tab with someone else’s work time and some you know, you’re having, you’re more stressed because you’re having to do their job too. It could be mean that you lose a client. It could be that you have to hire expensive agency staff. It could lead to a delay in a project. There are all sorts of business things that are impacted on their recruitment costs go down because you can attract and retain the good staff. Now, you will have some of your bad staff leave because they don’t want to be measured of things that is focusing on their productivity, you know what, don’t let them work for your competition. And you can draw in people who understand the way that you want to work, which is that you want quality work for the time that people are at work, it’s quality, not quantity, and then they get to go home and enjoy being whole humans, and whatever that looks like in their world.

Graeme Cowan 20:25
It’s, at the moment very hard to attract good people to organizations. At the moment, there’s a surplus in demand. And I saw that one of the results you found was that 63% of businesses found it easy to attract and retain talent with a four-day week. So that’s really a substantial benefit, isn’t it?

Charlotte Lockhart 20:45
It’s huge, you know, and they weren’t on this particular pilot, but there on another pile, but SM Bank there, the application went up over 500%. You know, so okay, fine. If there’s going to be a portion of those, which are pilot people who were just trying it on, let’s face it, however, it does mean that you are looking to bring in the people who actually want to have whole lives, but also understand they want to give you quality work, you know, and we’ve got to look at, you know, who are our employees? And so, you know, and everybody’s business, you know, has its own demographic in terms of the type of people that work, especially over the age demographics. You know, so you might have a workforce made up largely of baby boomers and, and an X as well, we’re all tired. We all want to work less because we work far too much during the 80s and 90s, and 2000s. We’re all ready to go home. Right? But then, but then, you know, you’ve got the Millennials and the Gen Z’s. You know, and I have a lot of a lot of employers telling me all the young ones these days, they just don’t want to work very hard. And I’m like, well, good. You know, and they’re busy naming quietly quizzing and create resignation. But you know, what we Xers and Boomers named? We named burnouts. Right, and it turned out it’s not a good thing. And these and the millennials, they are our children. Yeah, they watched us. They watched us over value work, over our health communities. And then, we overvalued work over them. And they don’t want that. And you know why we should want that for them? Why we should want them to work less, because they are the parents of our grandchildren. And so, when we look back into this whole thing, we need to remember that we borrow our people from our lives or their you know, that from their lives, those lives include the parents of our grandchildren. And so, we should want a better world for them, a better workplace offering for them. Because as humans, we’ve always wanted, you know, a future and we, you know, as parents, we’ve always want our children to have better than we did. And you know, and that’s been the case since you know, cave person days. So, we you know, so we have this situation where it used to be better food, better health, better education, better opportunities, better housing. But in the 21st century, all we’re offering the 21st century child has more, more food, hello, obesity epidemic, more, more housing, really? Does everybody need their own bathroom? Yeah. You know, and more education when it doesn’t– we just scrambling over each other for qualifications that actually don’t increase our ability to do a good job. Education, but education tech and sorry, educational institutions, I’m not begging you, but we actually need to understand that more isn’t, isn’t better. And the actual thing that our children only want more of is time.

Graeme Cowan 24:21
I saw a wonderful post, I think it was on LinkedIn, that said basically 30 years from now. No one will care how long you spend in the office except your children. And remember it and it’s your children.

Charlotte Lockhart 24:43
–time at work.

Graeme Cowan 24:46
A lot of cynics will say that the bosses will just want you to know, work for days but do the same hours as five days and you talk specifically about 180-100 model, could you explain that, please?

Charlotte Lockhart 25:04
Yes. So, the 180-100 model is actually a principle we developed really in response to a number of different things. One is, if you don’t have a workplace that works the standard work week, a five-day week, then actually you got to have another way of measuring. So, we talk about paying people 100% of what they’re earning now, letting them have the ability to work 80% of the time, as long as they give 100% of the productivity. Now, what we’re accepting in that and what our research shows is actually, time at work isn’t productivity at work, but two things are not the same thing. I can come to work for you 40 hours a week, if I don’t do anything while I’m there, you’re still paying me, I might not last long in the job. But if you’re paying me for time, as opposed to a productive output, then you know, and so, it is about having that conversation. Yes, there are employers who do a 40-hour week and there are some countries that have got some legislation and support this, the door for DL with over four days or, or whatever it might be the model. But the thing about that is that actually doesn’t increase the productivity in your business at all. And so, you find as if people are doing these 10-hour days, their productivity goes down, or they get all of the work done in the eight hours. And then they just basically sitting around for two hours. So, you know, back to your point about the recruitment company, though, one of the companies, this company that’s been doing a recruitment company that’s been doing a four-day week since 2015. So, three years before we even got on board with it. The chap that runs that business, is a man called John Nash, and he found that is when he set up his own business, he decided to do it on a four-day week, because it has previous employer. There had been a mother who gone off on parental leave, came back, and was working four days a week and was just as productive. She then had a second child and was working three days a week and was just as productive. So, he knew it could be done in recruitment. And so, he sees himself. And he sets himself up with a four-day week walk with 10 hours a day. And he very quickly learned that that extra two hours was meaningless. And so now, they still nearly went long road. It’s nine, eight years later, still doing a four-day week, they’re closed on Fridays. And they continue to grow, they continue to improve, even after all of this time.

Graeme Cowan 27:56
I read recently that Bunnings are trialing the four-day workweek. And you know, they’re a massive operation in Australia or freight seven days a week. How are they making it work?

Charlotte Lockhart 28:09
Well, they’re doing the 40-hour week, over four days, though, it’s an optional thing. Now, let’s say the interesting thing about businesses like that is that when people work shifts, it’s actually easier to change the way people work because you change the shift tab. So, it’s not there’s a bit of logistics involved, and possibly a little bit of IT, but that they won’t necessarily get any more productivity out of people with the extra two hours of the day. But that is certainly now what I rather than a big organization like Bunnings was at least trying different things, absolutely. Would I like to encourage them to try to reduce to a 32-hour week while I being able to keep people’s pay at the levels that they are now that would be something that would be worthwhile doing. But you know, I am always of the view that I’d rather somebody started experimenting, than stuck with, you know, what we’ve always done.

Graeme Cowan 29:14
How easy is it? Because you know, the 180-100, 100 is about identifying the outputs the outcomes from a particular person, how hard is it for companies to identify that or for the person to identify what those outcomes are?

Charlotte Lockhart 29:29
Yeah, look, it’s quite interesting, isn’t it? Because you know, we get this question a lot people go, well, how do I measure productivity? And I’m like, what are you measuring now? When you do my performance review, what are you saying? What are you looking at in terms of my performance and the organization? So sometimes it’s not necessarily about inventing a whole pile of new ways of measuring things. Sometimes it’s about actually valuing what we already measure, and actually encouraging that behavior supporting that sort of behavior. But then there are other little things that you can look at that reflect. So, one of the things, for example, we looked at was Perpetual Guardian was internet usage. And that, you know, the top five sites that internet surfing went down 35%. Well, you know, that means that that you know, that, I guess spending more time at home is more important than Facebook. So, it’s about, you know, a lot of that a lot of the things that we do Microsoft, Japan, when they did their pilot in 2019, right, they did three things, no more than five people on a meeting, no meetings more than 30 minutes. And please use Microsoft Teams more. Now, that’s their own product for goodness’s sake. Now, also, prior to the pandemic, when we weren’t so big with our video conferencing. Don’t we all wish we had shares in zoom. But we do have more of an environment where we look at the technology that we have in place already. And how do we enhance the usage of it. So sometimes, that’s a bit more training on Microsoft products. Or it might be just turning on certain aspects of software that we already have, we just don’t use, it might be a case of looking at. So, one of the things that is quite successful for companies who have, who have shift patterns, is actually looking at how you allow those shift patterns to be managed. So, for example, get managed to get a 15% increase in sales, by installing or providing an app that allowed their staff to juggle their shifts in the app, and they didn’t have that meant that they didn’t have to have people involved in that process. But when people can adjust their shifts, they work better, because they’re working the shifts that they want. And if you think about an organization like that, a lot of their staff or students, they’re young, they’ve got her real life outside of work that sometimes impinges on their desire to be at work. And so, if you allow people to be able to manage their shifts themselves, then you get an increase in productivity. So, it’s, it’s those sorts of things that so you’re not, you’re not fundamentally changing anything in the business, you’re just using, the way the business works better for itself.

Graeme Cowan 33:01
Yeah, it’s really interesting, what you describe for Microsoft, Japan that, you know, five pillar meeting, meetings take longer than 30 minutes, what are the practices help people to transition to successful four day a week where the outcomes remain the same?

Charlotte Lockhart 33:23
Look, so what we coached businesses to do is to is to actually run an employee led program. And so, what you’re looking to do is have your employees look at what they do, how they do it, what they could do better themselves, what the support they need from you to do things better, and to work collaboratively around how they can make change. And so, you know, one of the, one of the things that people often say, was the best team building exercise that they ever did, you know, people like working together to solve problems. And so, so that’s the first thing is it’s an employee led strategy, it is not a C-Suite. So, the C-Suite initiative, but you know, the actual implementation has to come from your employees. All that the C-Suite needs to do is just decide that they’re going to make it work. And then, but then, you know, then there are other things. So, for example, at a perpetual guardian, one of the one of the things that that happened is there’s two officers in the South Island of New Zealand that have only two staff members. And they’re not that close together. And they decided to pair up digitally, so that their phone system was on a hunt system across both offices and links. And so, and then, I mean, because obviously, if they were two people in an office that meant that two days a week there would only be one person in the office and then how do you manage leave time and sick time and you know, all these other things. So, they went from being so their clients went from being serviced by two people to being serviced by four people. And they ran their time off in a way that meant that there were always, there was always a senior and there was always a junior on every day, and they just, they just organized their time off. So that there was always that’s that so. So now the worst-case scenario for those clients was that there would be three people to look after them. Not one. So that makes a huge difference to organizations in terms of how they manage something like that.

Graeme Cowan 33:35
Yeah, I saw also that you were awarded in the top 50 of most influential companies by Time Magazine, that’s an extraordinary–

Charlotte Lockhart 35:54
A Top 100. But yes, it’s still.

Graeme Cowan 35:58
Extraordinary achievement, especially when you’ve got 10 people. So, you’re obviously making a very, very big impact with what you’re trying to do, or are in fact doing. If people do a pilot that doesn’t work, what often goes wrong?

Charlotte Lockhart 36:17
Right, so, so first and foremost, it’s a people initiative, not a C-Suite initiative, you know, so sometimes what happens is, the bosses get too prescriptive and not flexible enough in terms of how they’re going to make it work. And so that’s, that’s really important. Either the leasing the business, determine how they’re going to reduce work time from the shop floors is very important there. Sometimes, and also to run a pilot, some organizations, they just decide they’re going to do it. It’s actually no, the pilot is about finding the best way to do it. And being prepared to experiment with different things. So, you might say, okay, well, we’re gonna start by doing Fridays, but actually, you know, what, maybe what if we had half the people off on Mondays and half people off on Fridays? Or, what if we became a 30-hour work week, and people just chose their own things. So, the key thing is finding the best way to reduce work time for yourself. And then if you do, and then also, we run pilots, usually for six months, but not everybody pilots for six months, some pilot for longer, because they still feel like they need to, they need to sort out a few more details, before they confirm it fully, and things like that. So, it really is a case of being flexible. Sometimes what happens is that a business will have something fundamentally changed like a pandemic, but you know, like losing a big customer or gaining a big customer. And so therefore, sometimes for the C-Suite, it’s just trying to manage their, navigate that as too hard. And then the other thing that happens is change of leadership or change of ownership. Private capital coming in. So, we had one, one organization that did a really great job of their pilot program. And then Private Capital came in and went nuts. We’re not having that. And so, it’s like, you know, but yeah, so that sort of thing tends to happen there. But there’s a lovely story in the UK, and one of the companies that did the pilot program in the UK, not the one, not the one that was such an earlier pilot. And she, the way she describes I think is quite lovely. So, she invited her people to do the four-day week. That’s how she describes that I invited them in to do it. And then and so then they made a very successful job of it, and it was working very well and fine, and then they lost their biggest customer. And she said at previous times, this has been bound from the ground when and when these sorts of things happen. They’ve the standard response in business, of course, is to fire a whole pile of people, right? And she said, actually, what she decided to do was she invited her people to come back to work five days a week, so they could pivot the business. And they all came in and they digitized a lot of their product offering their service, offering– they made they developed a whole bunch of new stuff. And so therefore they were actually able to then increase the number of clients that they could have. And so now they are not fully dependent on the one that one big stock that customers style of having one or two big customers, they’ve now got lots of customers.

Graeme Cowan 39:51
What a great example of reinventing the business and having the people involved to do that. It’s wonderful to hear stories like that, it makes a big difference. When you begin pilots do you do try, like some of the UK, one was recruiting a whole lot of people to do it over a period of time and then evaluated is that typically how you do it in New Zealand or Australia?

Charlotte Lockhart 40:15
We do it, we do it. So, we so we run pilots in three different ways, we have three different offerings, we have a fully digital offering, which you know, if you’re a small business, you just want to, you’re pretty confident in your ability to make it work. But you just want some resources and some, some help and be part of the community. Because we have a, we have a digital community that everybody can be the part of, and talk and share ideas. So, we have a digital offering. And then if you’re a larger business, or you want more hands on, and what sort of coaching and hands on process, and we have the group pilot programs, which is what you have described there. And we’ve got an Australasian pilot program that will start in October. So, if anybody wants to anybody else wants to, for any of your listeners want to join in, we have the group pilot programs. And then we also have one on one coaching for our– for businesses. So, when the business is a little bit more complex, or perhaps has external shareholders or anything like that, then then we have a consultancy process that we use for doing that. So, you can join a pilot program with us at any time because we’ve always got one running somewhere in the world.

Graeme Cowan 41:32
Wonderful. How do you practice self-care, Charlotte?

Charlotte Lockhart 41:37
Well, so for your listeners who happen to know that I was driving recently. So interestingly, one of the largest Australian organization that we’re coaching at the moment, and I said to the leadership team, we had on our first session, we asked them, what did they think their people were going to get out of it? And I said to them, and the next session, I’m going to ask you, what will you get out of it. And a number of people in that leadership team said the same thing, as what I’m saying for you is that they have older parents and care. And they would like to be able to feel that they can visit that person and not feel as if they’re rushing, not feel as if they’re squeezing in time with mom or dad into a busy life. And so, part of my self-care is that twice a week, I go, and I spend the afternoon with my mom, and I just shouldn’t we just do whatever she wants to do, whether that be go out or go out for lunch, or, or just sit around and do puzzles. And that really helps me bring the temperature of my life down. Because I am forced to take life at a different pace. So that’s, that’s one of my self-care things.

Graeme Cowan 42:55
Yeah. And I have an elderly mother as well. And I’m always grappling that same thing. And unfortunately, but other siblings, and she does have lots of visitors and all that sort of thing. But I really liked that. Because, you know, my children have left home, they’re independent, but been silly, needs lots of support and love to have businesses. So–

Charlotte Lockhart 43:17
Well, and this is it. But it’s but it’s also it’s about my self-care. I like not feeling that I’m rushed. I like– I’ve got siblings as well. And we’re very lucky. There’s a whole plethora of quite grown-up grandchildren. So that so my mother has plenty of people around her. But I want to know that when she passes that I was there for her. And so, there’s there was a bit of selfishness about it. But also, it helps me take the pace down in my own life, it forces me to have some gentle time in my week.

Graeme Cowan 43:55
And Charlotte, how can people best find out about the services you offer?

Charlotte Lockhart 44:00
Oh, look, we’re really easy. We’re a 4dayweek.com The number four-day week.com It’s very easy to find, then you can join. There’s a join of pilot there that would talks about all the different pilots that we have, but also on our website has all the research that we’ve done. So, we’ve got a research release for our, our last US pilot so the Australasian research is already up there. That was our last re-release. We’ve got an next US release coming out in late July. And so as we add in more, more research, we it’s all there so you can go and see what you’re doing there. So, if you’re a business leader who’s trying to make a decision about this and seeing if it’s right for you and for your business, then there’s enough of information, there if you are not the decision maker on this and you’re looking for some tips around that. There is a bit of a how to come means your boss, but the research is the thing you can go, and you can say to your bosses, but look, the research shows that this is the thing. So therefore, you know, people can make their own decisions based upon empirical research. We didn’t make this up. It’s fully validated University standard research.

Graeme Cowan 45:24
Yes. Honestly, it’s been just fantastic hearing about how you’ve prompted other companies to just really look at things, you know, it’s always been this sort of one assumption, you have to work this many hours. And you have to be here to do it and to just challenge that status quo. And to see that so many people have done it, and that you’ve got the independent research that looks at outputs, and our activities and shows that, you know, there’s no loss here. In the case of Microsoft, Japan, they did a big increase in productivity, which is extraordinary.

Charlotte Lockhart 46:00
Well, they got nearly 40% increase in their productivity. But going back to The Caring CEO thing, what wasn’t widely published, for their research was that they actually said they did the three things in work. But then they also did three things outside of work. And the three things outside of the work well, what are you going to do for your community? What are you going to do for your family? And what are you going to do for yourself? So, they got people to actively use the time well, and I think that that’s also one of the things that’s also very good for us all. As, as humans is that is, is having a productive life, you know, and okay, fine, there are some people who use their fourth day to bench watch Netflix, I’m sure that we’ll all be guilty of having done a little bit of that when we’re when we’re tired and burnt out. But actually, what happens when people trust that they’re going to have this time as they use it in a much more, in a way that fills them up, much better. And so, then the person that they are bringing to work as the person who was rested, who was feels like their life matter? Who feels that the work that you offer them has meaning and has meaning to you and to them. And, and they also feel like they’ve got they’ve just got a whole life and that that’s the person, you are creating an environment where better people come to your workplace.

Graeme Cowan 47:33
Yeah, that’s a wonderful message that I just hadn’t even thought of that added bonus of thinking beyond the workplace, thinking beyond the family, obviously, the family’s essential, but just thinking about the difference you can make in the in the community. Knowing what you know, now, if you could go back and give a message to your 18-year-old self, what would you tell that 18-year-old?

Charlotte Lockhart 47:58
Don’t work so hard. Like, I think that, you know, we all like I mean, the you know, there’ll be a lot of local business leaders on this call, Graeme, but I really like working long hours, I really like working hard. And I, you know, I’ve worked long hours. Luckily, you know, spent a lot of the time when my children were, were young self-employed. So, I was able to be a bit more flexible with my time. But I always liked that sense of, of the long work week, but you know, it, it hasn’t been good for my health. And, you know, if I had my time again, I would, you know, I would run that a whole heap differently.

Graeme Cowan 48:45
Thanks for being part of The Caring CEO, Charlotte. I’ve so enjoyed a different way of looking at work and how we work and where we work. And we have to evolve like that, you know, we can’t just stick to a model that’s worked for the last 50 years and think that it’s going to work going forward, because it’s a very, very different workplace now. And thank you for being a Four Day Workweek evangelist, you know, your passion and enthusiasm for the concept really shines through. So, thank you.

Charlotte Lockhart 49:18
My pleasure. Thank you. It’s lovely speaking to you.

Graeme Cowan 49:23
Excellent. Well, thanks so much, Charlotte.

Charlotte Lockhart 49:25
That’s right, you are now officially part of the whole story. So, thank you very much for– thank you very much for helping us share.

Graeme Cowan 49:34
Yeah, I think it’s a very, very important message for this time, you know, because this is some precedent change the workplace and you just can’t work with old models. You have to just, you have to be fresh and be able to say, well, how can we collaborate to do this better. Good stuff. Have a wonderful time for your mom and I’m gonna make time to see my mom later on this afternoon as well.

Charlotte Lockhart 49:59
Excellent. Well, there you go see I’m influencing everyone. All right, bye-byes.

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