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Embracing Change: Our Journey to a 4-Day, 32-Hour Work Week

February 8, 2024

When I took on the role of Executive Director at CPAWS-BC just over a year ago, the idea of a 4-day work week (4DWW) was pretty new to me. Having worked a traditional 5-day work week (often more!) for my entire career, the thought of compressing work into fewer days seemed pretty impossible. How could we manage our workload, fulfill commitments to partners, funders, and stakeholders, and move the dial on conservation? All in less time. To be honest, it was hard to envision.

I have always valued innovation and the opportunity to challenge the status quo so (thankfully) at the continued prompting of our team, a year of research on the topic, and deep learning from the experiences of other environmental NGOs, I eventually realized that the only thing holding us back was my outdated idea of what work “should” look like. After all, if entire cities and governments could shift the way they work, surely our team of 12 could do it too?!

Since joining CPAWS-BC in 2023, I have been wholeheartedly committed to ensuring we remain at the forefront of conservation. For me, this means leading an organization that embraces a people-centred work environment – one that values human well-being as much as our conservation achievements.

And so we’re thrilled to announce our transition to a pilot 4-day, 32-hour work week starting March 1st. By maintaining our commitment to compensation, benefits and leave, we ensure our dedication to our team’s well-being and our conservation goals remain at the forefront. This shift to a shorter work week is a recognition of our team’s hard work and a step towards a work-life balance that prioritizes both people and professional success. 

Over the next six months, we’ll closely monitor this transition, focusing on staff health and well-being in addition to our conservation impact. As we embark on this exciting phase, we’re filled with optimism and look forward to sharing our experiences and insights on our journey.

We view this as a significant milestone and opportunity to embrace the growing trend of new standards for work-life balance in the environmental sector. This change is designed to inspire and energize our team, reinforcing our mission without compromising our impact.

Our unwavering commitment to conservation, coupled with a focus on our team’s well-being, positions us to make a greater impact on protecting Nature. Our strategy is simple: by giving our team more time to recharge, we create an environment where people and Nature can thrive.

Thank you for your ongoing support and belief in our mission. Together, we anticipate a future that’s not just brighter but more balanced, too.

Some details:

  • We will be out of the office on Fridays beginning on March 1, 2024.
  • Our pilot 4DWW runs from March 1, 2024 to September 1, 2024.
  • Our office will be open Monday to Thursday, with core organizational working hours of 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • We’re striving toward the 100-80-100™ model: 100% compensation for 80% of the time, while delivering 100% of our impact.
Meaghen McCord, Executive Director

Meaghen McCord, Executive Director