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Company That Switched To Four-Day Week Hails Move 'Huge Success'

Jake Massey

| Last updated 

Company That Switched To Four-Day Week Hails Move 'Huge Success'

A company that switched to a four-day working week has hailed the move a 'huge success'.

Atom Bank, the UK's first app-based bank, announced the move back in November, with CEO Mark Mullen arguing that the pandemic had taught us that we can work flexibly, and 'doing 9-5, Monday to Friday is a pretty old fashioned way of working'.

Employees' hours were reduced from 37 to 34 per week - with staff working slightly longer hours on work days to make up for the extra day off - and salaries have not been cut.

Since making the switch, the company said productivity had increased, stress had decreased and no negative impact on customers had been recorded.

The bank has also seen a 500 percent increase in applications for vacant roles.

According to The Mirror, Anne-Marie Lister, Chief People Officer at Atom, said: "Our adoption of a four-day working week has been a huge success, and we are proud of how well our employees have adapted, continuing to offer the excellent level of customer service that Atom is known for.

"We firmly believe that a four-day week is the future of work for many."

Here's hoping, eh?

The idea is certainly gathering momentum, and what once sounded like a pipedream is becoming more broadly accepted, with most of us having to adapt our way of working throughout the pandemic.

A four-day working week trial has just launched in the UK, and the idea is that employees will work for just 80 percent of their normal week at 100 percent of their pay to see what impact it has on productivity, as well as employee welfare.

It's called the 100: 80: 100 model – you get full pay for 80 percent of the work, but must agree to work at 100 percent productivity.

Presumably employees smile all the time when they only work a four-day week. Credit: Pexels/Fauxels
Presumably employees smile all the time when they only work a four-day week. Credit: Pexels/Fauxels

The six-month pilot programme is being operated by 4 Day Week Global along with think tank Autonomy, the 4 Day Week UK campaign and researchers from Cambridge University, Oxford University, and Boston College.

Participating businesses and companies will receive support from organisers, including access to experts and pioneers within the field, mentoring, and research by top academics.

The plan is to get 30 businesses on board and mirror programmes that are planned elsewhere in the world this year.

Then, the boffins will crunch the numbers to ascertain what effect the four-day working week had on productivity for the business, as well as the wellbeing of its workers and impact on the environment and gender equality.

One of the businesses involved is Edinburgh-based Canon Medical Research Europe, which employs 140 people.

President Ken Sutherland said: "We recognise that working patterns and the focus that we all give to our work-life balance has changed substantially during the pandemic.

"As a responsive employer we are always looking at how we can adapt our working practices to ensure that employees find their time with us is meaningful, fulfilling and productive.

"For this reason, we’re keen to pilot a four-day week to see if it can work for us."

Featured Image Credit: Pexels/Jopwell

Topics: UK News, Business

Jake Massey
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