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Atom Bank says four-day week ‘boosts wellbeing’

The challenger bank is now challenging working hours

App-based Atom Bank has introduced a four-day work week for its 430 staff without any change to salaries.

Employees now work an extra hour per day, but over four days they get three hours back and a three-day weekend.

It is the biggest UK employer so far to shift away from the traditional five-day week.

Chief executive Mark Mullen believes the change will improve staff wellbeing while having no negative impact on productivity.

He said: “Before Covid, the conventional wisdom was you had to commute in, sit at a desk all day and repeat that process when you commuted home.

“Covid showed us that it wasn’t necessary…I think doing 9-5, Monday to Friday is a pretty old fashioned way of working.”

Durham-based Atom was one of the UK’s first digital challenger banks and had £2.7bn of loans on its books in the last financial year. Its new working arrangements began on 1 November.

Mr Mullen said the new arrangement was voluntary, but he says most have adopted it.

Recent research found trials of a four-day week among public sector workers in Iceland were an “overwhelming success” and helped reduce stress and burnout.

Microsoft Japan said sales had been boosted by nearly 40% during an experiment in which staff worked a four-day week on full pay back in 2019.

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