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Atom Bank says four-day work week has been “overwhelmingly positive”

The company saw improved productivity, job satisfaction, retention and customer goodwill, it said.

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Anne-Marie Lister/Atom Bank.

Six months after becoming the first UK bank to trial a four-day work week, Atom Bank is sharing its various successes.

The largest UK business to move all their employees to a four-day work week, with no change in salary, Atom said it aims to support employee mental and physical wellbeing and enable a healthier work/life balance with the shift.

Despite recent scepticism around companies axing one day of work per week, Atom has found it to be an “overwhelmingly positive” experience for employees, it said, with improved productivity and job satisfaction.

“Over six months on from introducing our new four-day working week, it’s clear that it has been a huge success for our business and our people,” Atom chief people officer Anne-Marie Lister said.

The company’s research has shown that almost all (91 per cent) employees said they could accomplish everything they needed in four days, and 92 per cent said they found efficiencies in how they work because of the shorter week.

Data also showed that across all of the 165 departmental metrics tracked across the business, the success rate of business outcomes has improved.

“People are rightly looking for a healthier work/life balance, and despite warnings from some sceptics, our metrics and people surveys show that this has not had a negative impact on employees or customer service,” Lister added.

“In fact, it has been the opposite, with happier, more efficient, and more productive people who are even more driven to help us change banking for the better.”

Atom shared that it has seen no negative impact on customer service as a result of the shift, with customer goodwill and satisfaction levels increasing.

It also saw applications for roles at the company increase by 49 per cent from January 2021 to 2022, and headcount grew by 19 with stronger retention rates.

“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,” Lister added.

As a “progressive bank and a progressive employer”, Atom hopes that its success in the move to a four-day week shows it is possible for businesses to make the move and encourages others to follow suit.

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