Four-day working week is the next evolution of work, Atom says as it leads by example

UK-based mobile bank Atom has introduced a four-day working week for its employees, with no reduction in salary.

The app-based bank commenced its four-day working week on November 1st 2021, with the majority of its 430 employees choosing to adopt the new way of working.

Many would agree that the Covid-19 pandemic has irreversibly changed the way we live and work. One of the most notable changes is that many businesses no longer see office working as strictly necessary.

Moreover, workers have expressed a preference for flexible working and demanded a better work-life balance. Atom believes that progressive businesses should embrace these changes, and “get ahead of the curve” by making the five-day working week as unnecessary as permanent office working proved to be.

Atom also noted that the nature of work should take into account longer working lives, the positive impact of technology, and the need to live and work more sustainably.

The 34-hour working week (previously 37.5) was introduced following a robust review process which confirmed that there would be no risks to customer service or operations. The review assessed a range of factors, including productivity, effectiveness, available resources, and impact on external partners and stakeholders.

Atom said it will continue to offer customers support seven days a week. Although Mondays or Fridays are expected to be the default days off for the majority of employees, those working in operational and services roles may take their extra day at other times to ensure a continuous and uninterrupted level of service for Atom’s customers.

Mark Mullen, CEO at Atom, said that the four-day week will provide Atom’s employees with more opportunity to spend time with their families and pursue their passions outside of work. This will be beneficial for employee wellbeing and happiness, which in turn will have an equally positive impact on business productivity and customer experience, he said.

“The five-day week was popularised in the US by carmaker Henry Ford in the 1920s, and it was formally adopted throughout the country during the Great Depression…

“We believe the 20th century concept of a five-day week is, in many cases, no longer fit for purpose for 21st century businesses. Its introduction originally allowed for the establishment of the weekend, with all the benefits for employees this entailed. At Atom, we feel the time is right for the next evolution in the world of work.”

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