Image source, Atom Bank Image caption, Mark Mullen has been running Atom Bank since 2014
Online banking Atom Bank has established a four-day work week for its 430 employees without reducing their wages.
Employeesnow work 34 hours over four days and have Monday or Friday off, whereas previously they had 37.5 hours over the whole week.
Boss Mark Mullen told Hfrance.fr , it was inspired by the pandemic and is said to help improve well-being and retain staff.
However, employees will have to work longer hours on their days.
"Before Covid, the conventional wisdom was that you had to commute, sit at a desk all day and repeat this process when you got home," said Mr. Mullen, who heads the bank based in Durham since 2014.
"Covid has shown us that it 's not necessary ... I think doing 9-5, Monday through Friday is a pretty old fashioned way of working.
Atom was one of the UK's first digital challenger banks and had £ 2.7 billion of loans in its books during the last fiscal year. Its new working arrangements took effect on November 1 after a review found they would not affect customer service or productivity.
Mr. Mullen said the new arrangement was voluntary, but strongly reflected his staff's preferences for more flexible work.
"Everyone has to stick to it " he added. "I can't send emails to my staff on a Friday, I can't expect them to respond. Image source, Atom Bank Image caption, Bank headquarters in Durham
Working patterns have changed over time. In the 19th century, most British workers worked six days a week, but by the 1930s Henry Ford in the United States and the Boots drugstore chain in the United Kingdom popularized the two-day weekends as a way to stay. 'improve well-being and productivity.
Now calls for a four-day work week are mounting amid similar claims that it could improve people's lives.
Recent searches the essays d 'a four-day week among public sector workers in Iceland has been an "overwhelming success " and has helped reduce stress and burnout.
And Microsoft Japan said sales increased nearly 40% in an experiment where staff worked a four-day week with full pay in 2019.
However, some employers think this is not the right thing to do.
In 2019, the British scientific research foundation Wellcome Trust has abandoned its plan to test a four-day week for its 800 head office employees, believing it would be " too operationally complex ".
The move follows a three-month study that found squeezing work into a Monday-Thursday window could hurt the well-being of somes workers and affect productivity.
'Increased exposure to stress '
"It is undoubtedly a positive step for employers to seek to reduce people's working hours without compromising salaries, "Ben Willmott, public policy manager at the Chartered Institute of Professional Development, told Hfrance.fr.
" However, I think the challenge of simply reducing working hours people without other changes, is that you can increase exposure to stress, which is already one of the main causes of lost work time due to sick leave. "
Atom asks its staff to compress their hours into a shorter period, and proportionately their hours have not been cut by an entire day. But Mr M Ullen said workers would still be paid the same and would enjoy a "three-day weekend in perpetuity ".
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He also hopes this will help attract talent at a time when bank staff attrition is "unusually" high due to the pandemic.
"With Covid-19 forcing a large number of people to reconsider their lifestyle their lives, all of which leads to more productive, healthier and, above all, happier colleagues , is a victory for everyone ", he added.