CEOs / Interviews

Balancing the Grind With Charlotte Lockhart, Chief Executive Officer at The 4 Day Week

Charlotte Lockhart is the Chief Executive Officer at The 4 Day Week, a company she founded with her partner, Andrew Barnes, the Architect of the 4 Day Week Global Movement.

As the CEO for the Four-Day Week Global campaign, Charlotte works on promoting the immense benefits of a productivity-focused and reduced-hour workplace.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

My early career was spent in the Middle East working in legal services and when I returned to New Zealand I pivoted to financial services, my roles at Perpetual Guardian brought these two fields together.

When we launched our 4 Day Week in the company in 2018, it became clear there was a need for businesses to be supported as they found their own solution to the 4 Day Week so we established the Not-for-Profit 4 Day Week Global and the Foundation alongside this. I have transitioned to a role of CEO of this new initiative.

2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

I spend the bulk of my day building the 4 Day Week initiative. This involves talking with businesses around the world, helping them answer their questions and designing their trials. Part of my day is working with media and the content we need to provide for them and also our website and social media.

We are launching the book Andrew has written on the subject in January in New York and so there is a fair amount of work to do with the publishers for this. I am on the board of a number of connected initiatives, the Irish and US 4 Day Week campaigns, and the Wellbeing Research Centre at Oxford University.

I try to get some exercise and time to think and write. Through our philanthropy work, I spend a few hours each week engaging with charities and attending events.

I travel a lot in my role, and spend about 3 – 4 months out of New Zealand, engaging with business and speaking at events. I love my garden and spending time with our family and friends.

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

As with Andrew Barnes, I am fortunate to be able to self-determine my time. This can mean that my diary gets very full if I am not careful. In the building phase of this initiative we have many projects together with my team.

4) Do you have any tips, tricks or shortcuts to help you manage your workload and schedule?

We are currently working to implement Slack in our team. We have people working in the UK, US, NZ and Australia so we need to have a way to focus our resources. I rely heavily on our EA to manage my diary as I am often out of the office and she makes sure this is arranged in the most efficient manner possible.

5) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

I am very lucky, I get to “work” doing something that is very interesting and also very important – and not get paid to do it! For me, where I need to focus to achieve balance is making time for family and friends.

6) What do you think are some of the best habits you’ve developed over the years to help you strive for success and balance?

Talking to people and having a chance to connect to understand the grassroots issues in our businesses and our life. Planning time in the diary for non-work activities and having two phones, one work and one personal, means I can switch off work when needed.

7) Are there any books that have helped you improve over the years?

I have found that as I have gone through the various stages in life, different books are important for those stages. There are the inspirational ones, the time management ones, travel books about adventures, the baby/parenting advice books.

I love a good recipe book, especially ones that take you on a journey. My reading now is largely made up of research and related articles about the way we work and the impact of this work on our lives, the environment, our health, families and equality issues.

8) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?

I try to ensure those who support me know that I value their contribution.

9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

Perfection is over rated and will often exhaust you, unless you are a surgeon! Try to make sure you take on what you can finish and commit to that.

There is always someone doing more, achieving more, earning more but you need to be the best you, not the best them. Ask for help, delegate, accept advice or criticism and listen to your loved ones, they will help you stay modest.

If you’d like to have a conversation with us about how you balance the grind, get in touch with us!

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.