Where did that weekend go? How is it Monday already? There are not enough hours in a day. What’s the thing that most working professionals say they are lacking? It’s time.

From June 2018, MAC-UK follows the evidence to become an organisation with a 4 day working week. Anna Coote of New Economics Foundation names these 10 reasons for a shorter working week. Intuitively this makes sense, intellectually and economically the argument is clear and though it has taken me over a year to put in practice across MAC-UK, from the 1st June, MAC-UK will be closed for business on Mondays.

Since my year as a fellow on the Clore Social Leadership Programme (CSLP) in 2013, I have been very aware that the thing I have most failed to do as a leader is to look after myself. CSLP’s mantra is to Know Yourself, Be Yourself, Look After Yourself. Why is looking after ourselves so hard to do?

Wellbeing has been a priority for us all at MAC-UK. We are after all a mental health charity, it is only right that we are able to practice what we preach and invest in self-care and to create time, space and the environments in which to think and thrive. It’s time.

I’ve noticed my staff dedicate so much of their time, passion, energy and head space to their work at MAC-UK. This is the same for all of us, whatever our role, we are a team, we care, we worry, we work hard and we sometimes have to remind one another to stop, to book TOIL and to use up all of our annual leave. It’s not the worst ‘problem’ to have as a CEO, to be blessed with a committed workforce that will go over and above and who collectively recognise that the job so often takes more than a typical 9-5.

Following the lead of a couple of trailblazers at MAC-UK, more and more staff have been opting for better balance, with fewer days at work, or perhaps with just fewer days at MAC-UK but using their additional time off, to work or volunteer elsewhere. We haven’t lost out at MAC-UK either, staff that are here for fewer days, have more energy when they come to work, they bring ideas, skills and networks from across other areas of their life and my hope is that they will stay and stay well for longer because they don’t burnout so quickly.

Now that everybody at MAC-UK will work a maximum 4 day week, my hope is that people find time to balance their week and their energy with other pursuits or opportunities that they care about and find fulfilling.

Of all the things that we have done, and have still got to do, to keep improving our HR strategy at MAC-UK, this one irreplaceable thing of immeasurable value, that we are so excited to give to our staff, is time.