Can you imagine working reduced hours for the same pay? Can your business keep it's productivity at the same level if your staff worked fewer hours?
Charlotte Lockhart, Andrew Barnes, and the team at 4-Day Week Global believe you can... and have proven it in their own business... and they want to help you do it in yours.
Can you imagine working reduced hours for the same pay? Can your business keep it's productivity at the same level if your staff worked fewer hours?
Charlotte Lockhart, Andrew Barnes, and the team at 4-Day Week Global believe you can... and have proven it in their own business... and they want to help you do it in yours.
4-DAY WEEK GLOBAL
CONNECT WITH CHARLOTTE
- Get the support you need to Create & Maintain an abundant & sustainable 3-Day Weekend Lifestyle & 4-Day Work Week Income Opportunity.
- Employees, side-hustlers, freelancers, startups, entrepreneurs, business owners & executives can all create More Impact, More Income, and More Free Time.
- Get free training courses, tools, templates and guidance.
He said, I would like you to all just work four days. And there's a silence. And then he says, but I'm going to pay you for five. And then there's still sites. And then there's a very nervous giggle. And what he said was, this is a PC between me and you. If you can find ways of doing your job roles in less time, I will give you that day off.
Welcome, everybody. I'm excited to have with us today Charlotte Lockhart. She works with the Perpetual Guardian, and she works with Andrew Barnes. You might have heard about their work in New Zealand in implementing a four day work week in a larger organization. There's a lot of talk about it because there's been a lot of success from it. And there's been a book written about it called A Four Day Week. And Charlotte has been very involved with a lot of the processes, the parts of the system that needed to be implemented.
And she's going to share with us today a lot of what went on simply because there's many people that talk about this and talk about ideas about it. And I work a lot with smaller businesses, but this is a larger business has done this. And so I'm really excited to share with you, especially if you're considering doing this. It's a really long, exciting inspiration. Thank you so much for joining us, Charlotte. And thank you for taking time with us to meet today PC.
You to be here.
Awesome. So the first thing I'm going to do is just ask you to maybe just set the table a little bit about what's been going on. I mean, I follow it. And other people might know, but some people must say, what's the big deal? Why is we so excited about this? What is it that you all have done in a nutshell? And of course, we're God to get into more details. But what has that been done and what's been happening since maybe towards the end, we'll go a little bit more into how it's grown.
But basically, what have you all done? That's such a big deal that people are talking about.
Yeah. So two and a half years ago. So nearly three years ago, actually, we launched what a trial to do a four day week in our business. And we've ended up with a model that's actually reduced our work week. And we can talk through some of that through the questions that we go through in that time. Andrew and I have spent a lot of time talking around the world with different companies, media organizations, lobby groups, government agencies, academics around the wise and were force of reduced our work model.
What we know and this has existed before covet and it exists now. Is that the way we are and we're working? It's not fit for purpose in the 21st century. We've been working a five day work week since the 1930s, broadly, and that's really apart from the few sort of iterations and tweaking around the edges, it's not changed. Since then, we went down from seven days or six days down to five. Productivity has increased, and obviously automation has increased. But through the increase of automation, things like smart phones and emails, of course, we are now so much more constantly on.
And the problem for that, of course, is when we brought out the four day week, is it a five day week? Broadly, it was just dad that went to work. He was home in time for meals with family. Mom was busy sorting out the family and charity work and community work. Family holidays weren't disturbed by email or some smartphones, and neither would the weekends. And so work had a proper place in our lives, and our home life had a proper place. And now those boundaries are incredibly blurred.
And so how do we change that? How do we fix that now? We could just check the cell phones out the door. That's not really a great reality. So what I encourage businesses to be constantly thinking about is that as employers, we borrow our people from their lives. So if we have that as our consideration, we remember that workers not their entire life. And so therefore, the question we're all asking ourselves is, how do we fix that? What's the solution to doing that? So, yeah. So we ran very successfully in Perpetual Guardian.
We're still running it. We just had you people will have heard Unilever in New Zealand is launching a trial. They're doing a year long trial for the entire Unilever organization. And we can talk to a little bit of details about that. How you do it in a global organization where we're a large enough business, but we are just New Zealand, so we can answer some of those questions for people to.
Awesome. Thank you. I love the context. And so many people talk about work as almost the inevitable PC. At least we have the United States. Death and taxes are inevitable. And a lot of people talk about work is just it's just going to be it's work. It's not supposed to be fun. It's not supposed to be enjoyable. And all this technology, we can't God fully back. So whether they were the God old days or not, we're not going fully back. As you mentioned, the phones aren't going anywhere.
And even more so, as much as people might say, it's a value judgment. Whether a, quote, unquote women can or can't work or should or shouldn't be at home, not even going to that. But just noticing what's happened when children have less parental involvement, whether it's male or female, there's all these different impacts on society. And as you said, whether it was ideal before God is not necessarily the question. But it was simple. And it was clear somebody was taking care of the kids. For the most part, somebody was raising them, somebody was going out and working.
And again, certainly there's things that could have been better. And hopefully and I think in so many ways we're evolving. But in that quest to continue evolving, to say, okay, we're not done yet. And if now the car, the automobile was Henry for it, as you know, that first made the five day work week from a six day work week. And, of course, we also know that it might have been that he wanted people to drive more cars on the weekend. So it was kind of a clever move, too.
But literally, we would still be driving Model T Ford saying, yes, we're advanced. We're modern society. We've come. So beyond that. And yet the work model hasn't shifted. And there's a lot of agendas that get involved in this. And one of the things I like about what you all done and I've read the book. It's brilliant work and well done and well researched. And a lot of the audience that I speak to are entrepreneurs and small business owners and solopreneur. And sometimes we have just enough time to do research and then also get just enough research that it all gets confusing because you get conflicting points of view.
And who do you listen to and who don't you? And what I like is that the size of your company is large enough that it demonstrates. Okay, this is not just a solopreneur thing. This can be done. And as much as to some of us, it's kind of a simple concept. If you can make more money in less time and that's a measure of productivity, why can't you simply make more productivity and then simply work less hours? Do we have to stick through the same hours?
And so share a little bit, if you don't mind of how you all first hypothesize this experiment where it came from, and then how did it get started when you started looking at how it was going to be implemented? How did that play out and what was going on then?
Yeah. So Andrew was sitting on a plane and read an article that said that productivity in the UK was about 2 hours and 30 minutes and in Canada was really a much smaller number. And he began to think about it in a subsequent research SaaS a little bit higher. But either way, still not full working day. And we know this, right. And so what he thought of thought is this happening in our business. And if so, what could we do to change it? So it came from a productivity conversation and from a business owner's perspective, of course, as much as we all like to think that we're very altruistic and we want what's best browser at its heart, we are we're there to make money for the shareholders, whether you own the business.
Wade, you have external shareholders. And that is part of what business does. And we need business to do that because business then pays tax and in hires people who also pay tax. In, particularly in our post coverage recovery world, we're going to need tax paid. Otherwise we're all going to struggle to get anything done. So that was the Hypotheses. And he said, I had a bat car, I got this idea, deleted the email, didn't really want to do that. And so when he came back, he said, no, I'm serious.
So I really want to do this idea. And so we were lucky that we own our company and SaaS a lot of your people do. We do have an external board and some external funders. Andrew is a true entrepreneur and announced that we were doing this on nationwide television before talking to the board. Possibly not the best way of doing that. If you've got an external board, it's probably you just runs away with ideas. Anyway, they then were backed into a corner. And, well, we're not going to be the people that will stop New Zealand having a four day week.
So but it it's hard. It's a conversation about how you improve the productivity in your business. And so Andrew shared it with a leadership team who all thought it was impossible and couldn't be done. The board were huge skeptical. But Andrew said, Well, you know what? I just want to run a trial and let's just it's not that he's going to lose, you know? And I let's just run a trial and see who's right. And that says it's hard. You don't have to make the SUC success.
You only have to try to make it a success. So the barriers are so much less when you think it's just a trial. And so what we did and the videos for this are on our YouTube channel and on our website. But Andrew just was at the beginning of the year at the end of January. So we're all still in New Zealand. That's the summer. So we're all still in return to work shorts and summer gear. And he God the Auckland office all into a room.
And we did a town hall across we've God 16 branches around New Zealand. So we did a town hall on the phone. And he said, I would like you to all just work four days. And there's a silence. And then he says, but I'm going to pay you for five. And then there's still site. And then there's a very nervous giggle. And what he said was, this is a PC between me and you. If you can find ways of doing your job roles in less time, I will give you that day off.
And I want you to have an experiment with that. So that was the hypotheses. And then we designed a trial. So again, it's the scientific method you learn when you're 13 at school, have a Hypotheses designer trial, run the experiment and then review your experimenting conclusions and possibly then redesign your trial because if you still think there was a problem with your experiment. So he said, I want you to spend a month looking at what you do and what you might be able to do better.
I want to spend a month discussing with your managers how we might measure you, because one of the things lots of people asked me is, Well, how do you measure the productivity? Well, we didn't know that was again, that was one of the things we were wanting to try and do. How are we going to measure productivity across all of our job roles? So how are we going to measure you and how are you going to do it? So they spent a month working that out, and then we spent two months trying it and tweaking around the edges and having a bit of a look at things we God academic researchers.
And I recommend if you're a decent sized business, there will be a University near you that will be happy to do research with you. It's the topic to your every academic once, and they will run alongside you, get them at the planning stage before you tell the staff. That was one of the things we didn't do. But we ran the academic research in it because we wanted the external validation of what we were trying to achieve. Then when we got to the end of the trial, we stopped completely.
We said, right. We're stopping. We're going to look at the research. And we got two lots of legal advice from spoke to two different notes. And you made sure we had the right legal advice around how we with labor legislation being what it is in use. It's a lot stricter than it is in the US, but also we didn't want 4000 the law, obviously. So we got that reset then. And then. So we stopped at the end of April, and it wasn't till the PC November that we put in the new plan.
And the new plan, realistically is just a reduced our working model, full pay, reduced our so it means that different people within teams and different teams who have different paces for how they run their jobs can actually work through what works for them from a business perspective. But also individuals can work out what works for them in terms of what's the time they want off. So our It team is classic. So a head of it whose son when he first took a day off, he went to pick his son up from school and the sun came running out.
Five year old comes running out into the classroom CES. His father there runs up rates around his dad. His dad flags and says, Daddy, what are you doing here? God, what father doesn't want that right. So he made the decision that he wants to be home at the end of the day. Nice and early to have time at the end of the day. So he leaves at 330. He found that having a whole day off as a Department head was a bit too challenging. So he just leaves at 330 every day.
Another of his team walks his daughter to school every day and comes in at 10:00. So he's working five days. It comes on at ten. Other people take half days and a couple of take full days. And I said it says it to one of the team. Oh, God, how do you manage that? Surely that's a nightmare to know who's around and what. And he said, look, it took a bit of adjusting at the beginning, but now it literally does not come up. God, I think some of these things we roll around in our heads.
And when we're business leaders and innovators and thought leaders and people, we want to try and solve every problem before we start something. And I think sometimes in the entrepreneurs PC, it's a bit easier because let's face it, you never become an entrepreneur. If you've got all the answers because you've God to take the risk of other stuff, you just don't know, you're just going to work out when you get there. And this is what this is about. The trial is about working it out. So we had all of these really exciting things come out of it.
All is team engagement scores went up and motivation scores went up. People's ability, people's perception of their ability to do their job and less time went down. So people actually they were less stressed and they've really thought they were able to do their jobs and the time available. And we had people saying, I really like coming to work now. It was the best team building exercise we ever did. We had business teams sharing ideas with other teams in the business that they didn't even know existed.
So you've got all of sharing of ideas. We have managers that now I actually quite like coming to work out because the team is so motivated. So all of that just makes you a really exciting place to go for a lot of your entrepreneurs and small businesses. And in larger businesses, because the ability to attract and retain great star. It's trickier because you can't necessarily pay them something that they can get at your largest competitive Microsoft or something like that. And so a lot of technology companies use a tool like this to get the staff because they can't pay the big wages.
So you got a thing for you to understand is that you become a lifestyle business not just for you as the business owner, but for your staff as well, because, remember, we borrow our people from their life.
Yeah. And that's well, there's a few things there's. So big number one, I love that you all did a trial, and that makes it less scary. Kind of like the puppy dog clothes. Just take the puppy dog for the weekend. No problem. But the idea of no, this is not forever. And a lot of people have that sense. Another thing you mentioned that is certainly I know most entrepreneurs or solopreneur have to get over this, and some don't is that idea that we have to have every single answer right away and know the answer before something even comes up.
God, I get yourself.
But just assuming there's not going to be changed. Yeah.
God, get yourself a job with that. Entrepreneurship is not for you. If you need the answer.
Exactly. And then even the fear of people when you say, well, we're going to change. But the other thing that you mentioned, and again, for those of you all at any point, the book does such a great job of nailing down the details of this, but this is still an adult agreement. We need a certain level of productivity for this to happen, but it's sort of an inspired reason for having a proto. It's not just so that the boss can go on a nice trip or a longer trip.
It's something to say. Okay, we can do this. And so much of what's going on now in the businesses I work with with COVID, a lot more people working from home, and there's always been so many questions, will they do the work? And sometimes they will. It's we if you really want to build a certain type of organization, but overall, as long as you can keep the math in front of and say, look, if the production goes down and the income goes down, well, then, yes, we'll have to make decisions that are tough, and we'll have to get more specific of measuring and micro measuring and all those things that most entrepreneurs hate to do.
But if things work out, we might not have to do that. So let's aim for there. Let's start there. And then, as you said, we can always do a second experiment and third experiment, but let's start there and have that be where we aim from.
So, yeah. And I think this really is a really important point that entrepreneurs, they do like to take the risks and they don't like measuring stuff. And entry is no different. Right. People ask all the really specific things. And. Okay, we've God, people in our team and our CFO like more data them. But at a tart your measurements. Am I still making the same amount of money less or more? It's a very simple measurement because that's what you're counting. Is revenue going up? Are my expenses going down?
But what we have to and being able to trust our employees to do the work that we need them to do covert has hurt me. Smash some of that. But what Cover has also given us is a bit of the opposite as well, because work is always there. Work is always on. We've got the flexibility to do stuff with the children in the middle of the day. But then I'm going to finish that at night. And so work has stopped being even more so has stopped being just during a specific time frame of the day.
And one of the phrases that I've been using a lot recently was speaking is we've gone from working from home to sleeping at work.
And another thing that we're fighting as we go through this is actually, as business owners, we need to protect our stuff because they are our greatest asset. We need them. They can get a job somewhere else. Right. But for us to have to hire someone else to do the job they're doing, assuming they're doing even a half decent job is a pain in the ass, let alone the actual cost of doing it and the impact on your business. You Wade better to get the people that are working for you, the ones who are doing a good job, to do better.
God, the ones who are doing crap job. Go PC. This is actually one of the things that comes out of this. And I was discussing it with another chap in California this morning, and he was saying that he brought in they do the five hour work day. So same concept. He found that he had people who left, and he was disappointed and surprised. He thought, I'm offering you a really great thing, but some people don't want to be measured on their productivity that don't want to be held to account.
Do you want those people in your business anyway? I mean, whether you're working a 40 hours week or a 25 hours week, those people don't want to be measured, that already helps to account. Let them God and bring in people who fit your culture. We know this about, you know, you've got to have people who can work with, who set your culture. This is a standard thing. And so this just gives you an ability we often talk about. Four day week doesn't change anything. It just merely puts a spotlight on some of the floors in your business.
Spotlights your inability to measure productivity, spotlights your managers inability to manage in, spotlight people's lack of desire to be held to account. And so you've got to use to actually, you know what? Either on that, you fix the productivity measurements, ESPS, the trial will sort that for you. Your managers either need support and will step up, or they God. And your people either need support and set up, or they will God. If they indeed don't be worried about that, hire people, then who really, truly get what you're trying to achieve.
And so I think that it's a really important issue for people to understand. It's not complicated. It's the trial. It's the trial. It's the trial.
Awesome. So when you spoke in further depth with the supervisors and the employees, what were each of their what were they excited about? And what were they concerned about? Because you mentioned and I've seen this. I remember once working with a business where I help them with their compensation, we announced a change to the compensation plan that would pay them more. And I remember one of the team members was almost crying.
Upset? Like, why? Why are you doing this? We want to give you more money for the results that you're getting because you're already like she was one of the top performers, and we were making it more to worth. And it was the fear of change, because I guess there was that inherent distrust. It wasn't. I mean, if she fully trusted, there wouldn't be that. But there was. Okay. What's the angle where you coming from? Am I getting fired? A while from now? Here's what's happening. So what did you all run into that was smooth.
And what way wasn't so smooth?
Absolutely. And I've got a friend who they've God, a bride or come, right. We're a company that manufactured provide racism. And they had the same thing with their team. They decided to change the way they were paying a sister, so they would end up being paid more and that they started and didn't like it. And the problem with what they did there was that they didn't consult the Star. They just told them. So this is the thing. What we're not telling the Star. We're doing this. We're asking them to come along on a journey.
So I think that's one of the things. But you will always find people. You can't do this in a business where your staff don't trust you. You've got other work to do this. So do that work first and then do that. But you're always going to get some people, especially in an organization size of ours, where there'll be some people that don't trust you. And we find that when we talk to businesses along the way, they think it's a pathway to redundancies and stuff like that.
So you've got to be very clear with your communication. So as long as you take people on an engaged pathway and you continue on that pathway and you're constantly communicating, and it's not just your stuff, it's your customers as well. And it's scary for managers, because this is that I don't know what we're doing. Yeah. You're telling me to manage something that you don't even know how we're going to do it. So being very gentle with people and being very collaborative and sharing ideas there, we set up an intranet in our company so people put from all over the country could share ideas, the little things that they were doing.
And so I could see if that would work in my Department. And so different people, increased layer of communication helps to bring these concerned people along. And other things that people said, which apparently other companies God as well. I'm not sure what I would do with the time that's the biggest thing with entrepreneurs. What? God. So what we do in our business is because of the way New Zealand Labor legislation works. And I won't go into the long complications if anybody's in New Zealand bits listing and they want further information about that, I will go into that for them specifically.
But we have to crew leave four extra days of leave on the time we're given off. And so we actually ask our staff, then they opt into the four days. We call it a productivity week program. We actually ask them to give four days a week to charity four days a year. Sorry to charity. And so this gets them out in it. Now, our business has quite a lot to do with the charitable sector, so that's not a hard thing for them to find. But when charities are doing this, what I often say to them is, well, actually, you know what?
Since your staff spend their entire workday being altruistic and doing stuff for others, I would actually insist that they do something for themselves. So then and put some boundaries round it, you must do an education thing or God, get some exercise or whatever. But specifically for you, not for anyone else, not even for your family. God, it for a day a year, do something for you. And because what we're trying to do is encourage you to bring your whole self to work and your whole self home.
And sometimes if people don't have something outside of it. Classic examples. I was talking to one of our staff and one of our branches, and the I'm going to say, Bob, I want uses one. Are you doing this whole short work week thing? And he went, well, no. And I said, oh, why not? He says, Well, I'd really struggled to take a whole day off. And I said, Wade, not many of my he has a specific job role within our business. Not many of the others are doing it, although I think John is doing it.
But now I said, Could you take two half days off anyway? Yes, I could do that. And it's not like we haven't message this within the business. It's not like we haven't communicated it. He just seemed ambivalent that whole idea. And that's okay to me, by all means, welcome to. But what I'm looking to do moving forward is actually so it's not just the people who are on the program to people who are not on the program. This get everyone doing something for charity four days a week, four days a year, so that we're actually all looking at outside of ourselves, outside of our own world and giving ourselves a sense of being part of the larger world.
So there's pros and cons on both sides. It is scary for a lot of people to go through something like this, and you need to give them some room to be hurt. And, you know, there will be some people who need more support than others. But we have all of the scariness and all of the problems that people this exists in your business now, it's just you haven't got a spotlight on it.
Yeah, I was just going to say, so much of your talking about managers or supervisors are very often concerned about can they get their team members to perform? And the scary part is usually when you say we're about to look at this, look at this. I've been here five years. I've been here ten years. You've never looked at this before. Everything's going smooth. It's not broken. What's wrong? What's coming next? And there is that sense of insecurity about it. And certainly a lot of the people I talk to that are small business owners, especially that maybe do fall into that stereotypical Type A category.
They're always going, and maybe they haven't developed a life outside of work. And it can be scary to think, what do you do with extra time? Because if you're not enjoying your life outside of work or doing something fun with it, and the most rewarding thing or the best place that you get some sort of positive feedback, is it work? We are going to gravitate towards that. And people say, oh, that's an argument to have no longer work weeks or at least have that as an option.
And yet, to me, God, agree with what you're saying. I want that person just exactly what you said to do something for themselves that that won't be done for them. Sometimes I know when I'm talk with people about compensation plans, very often I'll talk to the owner and they'll say, Well, there's this person and they won't do this for themselves for this that'll say, Great. So have it be when they hit this that you gave them, let's say a day off, that they can go to the spot and the massage will be paid for whatever, whatever it might be.
But that's all. And it can't be given to their spouse and without getting too deep, sometimes it if it just comes in as money. Well, then the family claims it either the kids or the spouse, and it just goes in this generic place. And so it never really happened versus okay, you're now, at the very least, taking this day off. No, you can't come in. We won't let you in the building. God one, Absolutely. And of course, there's a boundary which that person is free to choose what they want to do with their life.
But this sense of saying, look, we're not going to enable this because to something you mentioned earlier, my goodness, the cost of employee turnover. And people ask me, Wade, how do you prove this? Because, of course, you want to get a certain number of results in a certain amount of time. But even if you got the same results in four days as five, you Wade, no, income gains, and it was less time. But you chapter people longer, even if you don't care if they're happier, which I think you might.
But even if you didn't, the fact that you're not turning over people as often. And then, like you said, just the pain. There's probably nothing more painful than having to train somebody to do a job. That's not a new job. It's not an exciting job. It we had somebody there in that position a while ago, and they got upset or they God dissatisfied, or they just left. And we're working our tail off just to be back where we were. When you can keep people longer. It's such a nation.
You're in a small business. It's such a nuisance to have to sort that out, because not only have you got to do the whole recruitment thing and all of these seven things, and it's even harder now that you're happy to do it all over me, but it's the entrepreneur. Your job is to be building the business and working on it, not in it. And we know this. It's not new phraseology, but we struggle to find the time to do that. But I challenge every single entrepreneur. Where did the nub of your idea come from?
Can I guarantee it wasn't sitting at your desk? It was in the time that you were outside of your in, whether you're in a job or in something. It's the time. It's when you're walking along the beach. It's when you're in the shower. It's when you're just watching TV but not watching TV, and your brain just goes a little. And then the idea comes. The solution to the problem comes something. The ideas come when we let our subconscious solve the problems for us. And so this is why working lease is really important, and it's important for our A type managers as well.
And Wade, a perfect example in our business where we had one of our staff members is a senior manager. You're saying I'm really struggling to do this. I've got a lot on, and I'm struggling to take time out. And we said to him, Well, look, two things. One is we need you to be an example to your people. So you just go home and do the work from home, if you must. But two, I need you walking along the beach because you will solve problems in my business.
When you're walking along the beach, you won't solve problems when you are in the office dealing with all of them. Manushi, that happens in an office environment or in a manufacturer on the shop floor. Or you think you're there. People come up and they've got there are little things that that God wrong that other people can fix, but you're there, so you get to be the person who can fix it. And so being outside is even if you are not working on your business, you realistically.
We need three bits. We need working in, working on and just being outside. And it's the outside that is actually the God for what you're doing. And it's the God because it helps because of all those reasons about subconscious. But it's also God because it makes us rounded people. So no matter what we're selling, no matter what we're doing, our customers want to deal with people. And you need to make sure your person not this auto Mon that looks Haggard and tired because you're just always working.
Yeah, that's something I remember years ago when we were raising our children. My wife was reading a lot of the books by Maria Montessori, the educator and the she was the doctors forget her background, but she wasn't just an educator. And one of the things that she mentioned is that children are naturally drawn towards beauty, not physical attractiveness, but beauty in the sense of happiness. Smiles like there's a certain energy. That is. And the reason I think it's so important with children and cheated, too, is is because that's our natural state.
We look at flowers, the ocean, things that are abundant. And when things don't look well, they're less attractive, they're less interesting to engage with, to do business with. And certainly I'll use a symbol content. If you're a programmer, a number cruncher, or you're so into your code and into your stuff, no, you shouldn't be coming up with ideas, then you should be doing your code because that's what you have to do. And it requires that. But at some point, you God to pull your head up.
And if the next thing is more code than you right back down, there's no sense to kind of come up and let, as you said, different ideas come up. And there's so much research around how the brain works and what it does while we're asleep and all these different things. And put simply, if you have no space to do that. I remember when I was working a first job, one of my first jobs, and I was working in auto insurance claims, and I was working about 60, 65 hours a week.
And this was years ago before we had a lot of computers. There were some computers, but everyone had a file, and there was a file number. And I'd remember claim numbers, like two in the morning. Oh, God, we got to get Miss Son. So the claim number is this and all this stuff, because it was this constant on. We were under staff at the moment. We're trying to catch up. And that same exact job later, when we got to a reasonable number, literally about a quarter of the number of claims was such a pleasant job to do.
And but in a compound because we found efficiencies, we found ways of doing things better. But when you're so in survival mode, it's so difficult to come up from that. And the other part, I think that people leave out of this is the personal responsibility to live within your means. Because one of the things I mind people of is, well, what if your employer said to you, I'll let you work four days, but I'll pay you for four days, not five days. I'll pay you for four.
Could you afford to do that? Because right now. And I've been saying this for years. That's what I actually first proposed when I was leaving the Corporation that I ended up leaving 20 years ago. I first asked, can I do that? Can I make the same hourly income but work less days? And at the moment, it cash. We really don't have that in place. If you ask everybody else, I want to do it and all that stuff. And yet, if you're serious about this, well, first get your expenses that place, because especially right now with Kobe, there's a lot of places to say, wait, wait.
You'd still stay if I only paid you your salary? Sure. No problem. Whatever you can.
Sorry. I'd rather keep my job.
Well, I'd rather keep my job, but also the employer knows that. Okay, this is a temporary situation. Hopefully that's going to work itself out again. We turn over. I don't want to lose you. I'd rather keep five people at four days if they're God and then lose somebody and say, God, I know I'm going to be hiring. I'm going to be looking for that same person six months from now or whenever this thing sorts itself out. And so so much of this, I think what I love about what was mentioned at the beginning of the book, Andrew mentions the 100 and 8100 concept as being a premises.
Would you know what it means when you explain that again, how that makes this real and not a fairy tale?
Yes. So the 100 to 800 principle is basically that you pay your staff 100%. They work 80% of the time, as long as you get 100% of productivity. So ignoring the fact that 99% of companies that do the reduced our work model actually have their productivity go up. So you're not even having to it's actually 100 and 8120. But that's the PC, right. I will pay you 100 PC, 80% of time, 100% productivity. And then that means that if you've God staff who are only working three days for you now, you God apply the same thing, I'll pay you 100% of what you're doing now.
You work 80% of the time you're doing now, as long as you do the 100% of the productivity you're doing now. Now. So there's two points in what you've raised there. One was this, yes. There are lots of businesses that would love to be paying their staff full time wages, but just can't do that right now. And they're doing their best to hold on to their people. And so they have had to drop you down to part time wages, whether that's four days three days or whatever, they're perhaps to reduce your income.
There's less work anyway. So you are reducing the amount of work and there's less product today. But what we encourage businesses to do and to be clear with their staff, is what is the measurement? That means you will pay me more. Saas, Productivity increases as revenue increase. Saas, we return to a more normalized economy. What are the measures that mean that you will see? Because what can happen and this is where staff don't trust is that they can end up stuck on this pay. But then their hours extend, extend.
And then next thing you know, they are working overtime. They're not being paid for. And the employer is banking the difference. And so you need to be clear about what the pathway is and what that looks like. Yes, I will take reduce wages. But what's the pathway? The other thing, of course, we're talking about with this, and it sits a lot in the gender pay gap issue is that it's usually returning mother. And I know there's lots of you dads out there that are returning dads to that.
We come off parental leave and we say we take a job for four days. And people love it because this woman working for me and she gives me 100% productivity, but she only works four days in her favor for four days. She's giving you 100% productivity. That's terrible. That's not something to be proud of. That's something to be embarrassed about. And what I encourage those strong returning parents of you out there. We have to those of us who have negotiation skills and have a skill set where we can do this.
We must negotiate to be paid on our productivity, not on our time. Because if we don't do it, you're sitting in your PC suite office or you're sitting in your in your middle management office, and you've got those skills. The person who cleans your floor at night that you don't see will never get these benefits if you don't ask for them. So we have to normalize the fact that we need to be paid for what we achieve, not for how long we take to achieve it.
And so that's where the mind shift comes. This is where case we have to get their heads around the fact that actually, I'm a pain for an outcome, not for you to keep a seat warm. Yeah.
And that's I think the biggest part because I found at least there are people that truly believe in education, the value of education not just a holistic education, but also education to achieve. And there's people that truly, fundamentally believe in. I'm God just simply caught. Not so much enlightened capitalism, but fair capitalism. There's always crookedness in any model. So putting that aside, but capitalism, that is fair. That in other words, if you can produce more than you should be paid more. But there's a group of people that are actually that they profess these beliefs, but they're simply on the inside.
And they don't want a level playing field. Like if the lever plane field gets leveled, I'm in the top 5% or 10%. If it reshuffles, I might not end up back in the top five or PC. So they really don't believe in the fairness. They believe in their position. So to your point, anything that looks like change, there's very often going to be resistance. But your smaller business owners, the people, and I'm not putting a hell over them. But just because the nature of the business is, as I've told to my friends, some of the least prejudice people I know are entrepreneurs, they might be greedy.
There might be other faults. But if the person's black, white, yellow, pink, blue, and they can make me money and get results PC. And so that sense of like you said, being the results, it is a shift. And certainly if people have a sense of status or wait, you don't understand. I worked hard for this degree, and therefore I feel like I should make a certain amount. Well, again, you are in the financial services world. I'm in the insurance world. Hey, if you can make results happen, we can pay you.
I don't care how great your pedigree is. If you can't get the result, your pedigree doesn't bring us money. And so I think that sense of helping people understand. Yes, the results are the bar. And yes, we want to help people. We want to have a great mission and why and all that stuff. But to your point at the beginning, if we don't make money, we can't sustain this. And from that perspective, it makes it very simple, but not always easy. So what I'm going to ask this to do because you and I talked and we're going to have a couple more of these conversations, hopefully, because there's so much you have to share.
But I want to keep it within a time frame. We use you to keep a digestive for people. And thank you so much. There's so much to this.
There's going to be lots of really information as God information. Guys, you have to keep listening to this podcast.
Yes. And so maybe to wrap up this first section, two things I'm going to ask you to comment on. Number one, you mentioned something that I think is so critical for people to understand was that the team helped design the experiment by helping you define how do you measure success? Because some jobs are easy. Hey, you sell stuff or you make stuff where you Wade 40 things in a week. Great. Well, make 40 things. And however many times as long as you make 40, those are easy.
Sales are easy productivity or easier of manufacturing things. Service, customer service. Those things can be a lot more difficult. How did you get people? What are some of the specifics of how you got them designing some of these standards and measures and quantifying them. And then is the last part where things going right now? You mentioned Unilever and what they're doing. How is this starting to grow as a movement?
Okay, yeah. So how do you measure productivity in your business? And the only people who can really help you with this are the people who are doing the job because productivity can be a wiggly worm to define. And every business has its own things that it values more than others. And every entrepreneur, you will have certain things that are just important to you that you want your team to feel are important to them to help them measure that. So that's what you've got to work through is what's important to me.
If I own the business, what's important to me to know what's happening? There are all sorts of tools. I mean, goodness me, you can measure everything you do with Microsoft these days. We all get those little annoying pop ups on our phones going your analytics for this to me, I don't even know how to turn that off. But then you also have Net promoter scores and you can have customer engagements. I mean, one guy in the UK, he sent out an email to his customers at the end of their work week, which was the first day saying Latino, hey, we we're pleased to have done our first week of the four day week.
I just wanted to check in with you and make sure that everything was going all right with you. I'm going to ask you two questions, has it impacted on you this week? And what do you think we could do differently? And he said you got a few answers if you answers to the email in the first two or three weeks. And then after that, the customer base just settled down into it and they understand what the new normal Wade with the business. The communication, I think, is a really important thing with that.
And then what's happening out in the real world, she says, sitting in New Zealand, which is virtually covert free. So Unilever, we've been working with Unilever for about a year now. I met the head of HR, their global head of HR. Amazing person. If you're on LinkedIn, follow her on LinkedIn. Her name is Leena Nair L-E-E in A and then near in air. She's lots of really great stuff that comes out of her. I think she has a professional team that manages her LinkedIn, to be honest, but it's always very interesting.
So I mess up with her. And we talked about a whole range of future of work things. And this is obviously before we had the COVID issue. God. Then we started talking with their Austral Tion team. And it then very specifically the New Zealand team. They decided that for the global company that would run as a New Zealand, which was a market that does a small part of what their global business does. And so what they're doing is they but they're eating the elephant one bite at a time.
So they're picking a team where they know that they can do it. They're here so we can support them if they've got any questions. The work we've done around New Zealand Labor legislation is supportive of what they might be able to do with that journey. And so they're starting their trial off and in a way that they can control more easily. And then they can take the lessons from that, and they can apply it around the world. And if we remember back to when you alluded to with Henry Ford in the 1930s when he brought out the five day work week, it took him three years to put the five day week and cross this whole business.
So don't feel like you have to make a success of this immediately. And then so we're in discussions with a number of global companies that I hope that we're going to have a global charity come across the line very shortly because so we're trying to work that big PC. It doesn't really matter with your bigger whether you're small, the process is the same. You need to run a trial now. Unilever are doing a whole year, and some small businesses do a long trial. We only did two months because we're agile and we line.
And most of your listeners, I'm imagining, would probably feel like two months is a really long time. And if I can't see whether it works in two months because they have such great visibility into their businesses, lots of businesses do between three and six months seems to be a big thing. Businesses will do a year because then that will give them a year of results. But I have one. Entrepreneurs say to me they were running a six month trial as he's got to three months. You're going I haven't told the staff that we're not going to be giving this up because they are so motivated to keep it in place that I can see now we won't need to give it up, but they won't let it happen.
So you just got I think the message really is to you is be out there. There are people out there who will think you are crazy. And what I love about the United States is you define yourselves by who you vote for. So okay, conversations with Republicans are going on. I'm not sure how I think we can make that work. And then I've got people now. I think it's a great idea. But then I'm a Democrat. I'm expecting there'll be a whole bunch more Democrats that will bring this up.
For that. There will be red Republicans. But don't be fearful of being the person who does things differently. If you're an entrepreneur, you've already taken that leap. Be that person, you will have a great organization. There will be people out there who think that it's a bad idea. Let them think it's a bad idea because all of the God stuff are going to come and work for you. They're going to come and help you grow what you're doing. They'll be motivated to make what you are doing better and bigger and faster.
And all of those things as an entrepreneur, you want done and you want done yesterday. So the thing you can't have done yesterday is putting this in place, take your time, become about it, learn from your mistakes, adjust and risk. And even then, I mean, what we installed in November 2018 isn't what we're doing now. We continue to iterate covert has created another change that we've had to iterate. So iteration and it's the same as product development. It's the same as service development. It's the same as everything that you are doing within your business iteration.
It's always part of the plan.
Absolutely. Thank you so much. And I just love that concept. So many people take pride and being on the cutting edge. So if you need to feel like you're on the cutting edge, this is I mean, it's been talked about for decades, but it's actually happening is any sort of critical mass going on. And if you want the best talent, some of the software companies will have the Ping pong tables and foosball tables. And that works for a while. But overall, the people that really want to get results will say I'm really not interested in Ping pong or food ball at work.
So much is I am having more time off, more time to make things happen. So thank you so much for joining us Charlotte, on this first interview. Where can people find out more about what you all are up to?
Well, so we have a website which is a four day week com. So the number four, they're welcome to God there Andrews book, as you've alluded to is called The Four Day Week. It's available on Amazon and Bans, and it's a physical book or an audio book or Kindle thing. And actually, if you if you buy the Audible, you will actually hear Andrew's voice. He read the book himself. You're welcome to follow Andrew and I on LinkedIn or like our LinkedIn page. There are just tons of ways to connect them with us on Facebook.
If your Facebook orientated not so much Instagram, it's not so many pretty pictures in our world, but I would just be making you all upset because we're all got lovely covered here. So, yeah, connect in. You are more than welcome to simmer private message on LinkedIn or through the website if you want to talk about it more. There's a white paper on the website. Get started with that download that read that sign up to our newsletter. It's just an infinite way. But if you're ready to take action, then just email me my email is on the website, and I'm happy to help you.
Awesome. Thank you so much. And that's why I love doing this sort of work. So those your listing. Go ahead, start making your plan. Start thinking. If you need help, reach out to Charlotte, reach out to me whatever help you need. And as always, look forward to helping you help more people and make more money in less time doing what you do best so you can better enjoy your family, your friends, and your life. Thanks for listening.