“We care about the staff at Byrd Barr Place. Work is not just about tasks, it’s about people and investing in them to support their full humanity and well-being.”
~ Andrea Caupain Sanderson, CEO of Byrd Barr Place
As an organization grounded in racial and social justice work, we put our community first – which also includes our staff.
Too often in the nonprofit sector, we see people enter the field with such heart and passion, yet they leave burned out, resentful or sick. Byrd Barr Place aims to shift this common narrative by creating an environment that fosters a positive work-life balance and workplace resilience. Our clients deserve our best, and that means ensuring our staff are feeling refreshed and rested when we meet with them.
A four-day work week creates time and space for us to reset, be with family and friends, participate in our community, and even just sleep, enabling us to continue to put our best selves forward when serving our community. We realize when we center our own needs as people, only then can we truly be productive and have vibrant and thriving lives.
While our staff shifts to a four-day work schedule, the organization will continue to offer services Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Byrd Barr Place is embarking on this four-day work week journey along with a cohort of 70+ companies and over 3,000 employees as part of a 6-month pilot program facilitated by international group, 4 Day Week Global. Other participants include Microsoft Japan, Primary (children’s clothing retailer), Wanderlust (travel company), Shake Shack (restaurant company) and threadUP (online consignment and thrift store). As part of this cohort, we’re receiving additional support through training, mentorship, research and a peer network to share learnings and experiences.
The pilot program begins June 6, 2022 and ends in December 2022. Throughout the 6-month period, staff will have the opportunity to engage in continued feedback with leadership, providing insights on what is working, as well as what is not working. We will conduct pre and post happiness surveys, and look at measurements of productivity, like the number of energy assistance applications processed and fundraising dollars raised before and after the implementation of the four-day work week.
We understand that there is not one “right” way to do it, and we are embracing this new venture with an open mind and dedication to work together as a team and individually to meet the goals and needs of our community.
At the end of the pilot program in December, we’ll review how this experience impacted our teams, our clients, and community partners. Then, the Board of Directors will vote to either keep the four-day work week or return to a conventional five-day work week.
Overall, we are eager to start our new four-week work schedule! We hope to set a powerful example and precedent among other organizations – locally and globally – that shifting the mindset of prioritizing impact over hours is possible and makes a difference.
Byrd Barr Place takes pride in approaching our work innovatively, from our organizing during the civil rights movement, to our groundbreaking studies, to now leading the social service sector in how we center those most important to us and our clients.