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Four-day week introduced for staff at digital bank

UK’s Atom Bank brings in four-day working week for employees with no salary reduction

Atom Bank has introduced a four-day week for all its staff as it pursues its goal of improving staff wellbeing while increasing productivity.

The Durham app-based bank, which has 430 employees, introduced the new policy at the beginning of this month and the majority of its staff have adopted the new model. This follows the introduction of flexible working during the pandemic, which was welcomed by Atom’s employees.

The bank said it is “reshaping the nature of work to take account of longer working lives, the positive impact of technology and flexible working, and the need to live and work more sustainably”.

During the pandemic, staff have shown a preference for flexible working and Atom has reacted with a policy that means staff can move to a 34-hour week over four days from 37.5 hours over five.

Mark Mullen, CEO at Atom, said that since March last year, the bank had to adapt rapidly to new ways of working. “Our experience has exploded many of the myths of the modern workplace,” he said. “It has happened at a time when we all need to become more aware of the impact of work on both our mental and physical wellbeing. We now know that many jobs can be done as efficiently and productively from people’s own homes as from the office. But why stop there? More can be done – more needs to change.”

Atom carried out a review to analyse whether the move could introduce risk to customer service or operations. It looked at productivity, effectiveness, available resources, and the impact on external partners and stakeholders. “These measures continue to be captured as part of a business-wide assessment of both commercial and wellbeing benefits of this change,” said the bank in a statement.

The decision goes hand in hand with flexible working policies introduced during the pandemic.

Atom said it believes progressive businesses will benefit by making the five-day week becoming as unnecessary as permanent office working.

“A four-day week will provide our employees with more opportunities to pursue their passions, spend time with their families and build a healthier work-life balance,” said Mullen. “We firmly believe that this will prove beneficial for our employees’ wellbeing and happiness and that it will have an equally positive impact on business productivity and customer experience.

“While we appreciate a four-day working week will not be right for all workplaces, the move to working from home has proved that working practices that may have seemed years away can be introduced rapidly.”

Atom Bank, which delivers its products and services through an app for mobile devices, received its banking licence in 2015 and opened its doors to the public in October 2016 following an invite-only launch.

Read more about Atom Bank

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