Four-day working week trial at Atom bank has been ‘overwhelmingly positive’

Business

App-based lender Atom bank says its four-day working week trial has been a resounding success.

The bank, which is based in the northeast of England, said the trial had been “overwhelmingly positive” for employees, improving productivity and job satisfaction.

Recruiting and retaining staff was easier, and there was no negative impact on customer service ratings, the company said.

The trial began in November last year and at the time, Sky News reported that staff would be given the chance to move from 37.5 hours spread over five days to 34 hours spread across four days for the same salary.

Anne-Marie Lister, chief people officer at Atom, said: “We firmly believe the four-day week is the future of working life and it is encouraging to now see the range of businesses across the UK embracing the four-day week trials.

“We are a progressive bank and a progressive employer, and our experience in planning for and moving to a four-day week has shown that it is possible for businesses to do this and bring huge benefits to their people.

“We believe most organisations can move to a four-day week and we hope Atom’s experiences will encourage more businesses to make the shift permanently.”

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The company’s research showed that there was a 49% increase in applications for roles at Atom in January 2022 compared to January 2021, and that the headcount grew from 461 in November 2021 to 480 in June 2022, thanks also to a reduction in the number of people leaving.

‘The 9-5, five-day working week is outdated’

It said that 91% of employees were able to do all the work required in four days and that 92% changed the way they worked so they could get things done and enjoy the three-day weekend.

Some workers spent the extra time off volunteering, some exercised, and some simply enjoyed having more time with their children.

There were fewer days lost to sickness and employees were also more motivated, the company said.

Joe Ryle, director of the 4 Day Week Campaign, said: “Companies should embrace the four-day week as a way of boosting productivity, improving wellbeing and to help with job retention.

“The 9-5, five-day working week is outdated and no longer fit for purpose.”

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