UK's Atom Bank introduces four-day working week

UK's Atom Bank introduces four-day working week without pay cut
Atom's move to a four-day week makes it one of the largest UK companies with this policy. Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty

UK-based Atom Bank has cut its staff working hours down to four days a week while maintaining their pay in a move intended to improve wellbeing and retain staff.

The 430 employees of the online bank will now work 34 hours over four days, when previously they had worked 37.5 across the whole week. They will get either Monday or Friday off and work longer days in the time they are in.

The bank was one of the UK's first challenger banks, and is railing against a traditional banking culture of long hours and high stress levels.

"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," said CEO Mark Mullen told the BBC, calling 9-5 an "old fashioned way of working".

Watch: Is it time for the four-day work week?

Read more: Lord of the Rings cryptocurrency taken to task by JRR Tolkien's estate

The new arrangement at the Durham-based bank is voluntary, Mullen said and reflects the staff's preferences for more flexibility at work.

Atom bank, which first opened in 2016, had £2.7bn ($3.6bn) of loans on its books in the last financial year.

Its new working arrangements kicked in on 1 November after a review found that a four-day working week would not affect customer service or productivity.

Watch: How To Negotiate A Pay Rise