A bank that has moved to a four-day work week, with no loss of pay, says it supports employees who want to get extra work elsewhere on the fifth day.
Thousands of British workers have moved to a four-day week in the UK for the first time, while receiving the same pay.
Some 2,600 employees at 100 companies are benefiting from the new work pattern after their bosses signed up to become ‘accredited’ employers in a national scheme.
Atom Bank, an app-based bank with 460 employees, committed to a four-day work week last November (2021).
But Anne-Marie Lister, Atom Bank’s Director of People, told Radio 4 this morning that they would support those who took a part-time position on top of their four days at Atom, as long as there was no conflict, because she believed it could help people. finances, health and wellness.
Atom Bank committed to a four day work week last November (2021). In the photo, the headquarters of Atom Bank.
Anne-Marie Lister, Atom Bank’s director of human resources, spoke to Radio 4 about the four-day work week this morning.
“We absolutely understand that the economic climate is affecting people in different ways and that people want to use their time for many different reasons and, yes, to earn some money and also to help their health and well-being, and a week of four days can absolutely help with that.” ‘ said Mrs Lister.
His comments came when he was asked if he would be happy if staff decided to take on extra work on the fifth day to help with the cost of bills.
“We support people who want to use their time in different ways,” he added.
‘We ask that our people come to us to talk to us about what their ideas might be if they are thinking of doing additional work.
“We’re a regulated bank, we want to continuously operate as a business, so it’s important to us to make sure there’s no conflict, but outside of that, to use a four-day week so people are better off financially as well as the impacting their health and well-being is absolutely what we want to support people with.’
Asked if working a fifth day elsewhere would “undo the idea of rest”, Ms Lister said she thought it would help people feel better about their personal situations.
“If they’re working, it’s probably helping them feel better about their personal situation, so what they give over time is very likely to bring back how they feel and their well-being, so I don’t think it automatically means they’re more tired or unable to give back to our organization.
‘What our people tell us is that they are very proud to work for Atom, an organization that has been courageous in implementing a four-day work week.
“I think it really impacts employee engagement in a way that makes people feel proud and connected and want to work at Atom even more.”
A hundred British companies have signed up to a permanent four-day work week for all their employees, with no loss of pay.
Four days, but no loss of wages
70 UK companies and over 3,300 workers began a pilot scheme in June over a four-day week.
The participating organizations were piloting a four-day week with no loss of pay for employees, based on the principle of the 100:80:100 model: 100% of pay for 80% of the time, in exchange for a commitment to maintain at least 100% productivity.
The pilot lasted six months and was organized by 4 Day Week Global in partnership with leading think tank Autonomy, the 4 Day Week UK campaign and researchers from the University of Cambridge and Boston College.
Globally, everyone from small businesses to large corporations in various sectors have boldly embraced the productivity-focused short-time work model, as pilot programs are also set to roll out in North America, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand in 2022.
Atom Bank committed to a four day work week last November (2021).
Speaking to Radio 4 about why she thinks it works, the Human Resources Director said: ‘It worked very well for us. So we’ve been operating on a four-day week for just over a year and in that time we’ve seen fantastic progress.
‘We have the highest employee engagement score we’ve ever had at 84 per cent, happy employees translate to happier customers, a bigger and better business and that’s absolutely what we’ve seen in the last 12 months.
“We have a 4.7 rating on Trustpilot and we’re one of the top three banks in the country right now and so I think what we’re doing for our people is paying off.”
The two biggest companies to have signed up for the four-day week are Atom Bank and global marketing company Awin, each of which has around 450 UK employees.
They have been accredited by the four days a week campaign, which means they have shown that they have actually reduced working hours on workers rather than forcing them into longer days.
The UK campaign also coordinated the world’s largest pilot scheme with over 3,300 staff across 70 companies and charities taking part in the radical six-month experiment.
The trial included researchers from the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford, Boston University and the Autonomy think tank.
The Royal Society of Biology was one of 70 companies to participate in the six-month pilot program organized by 4 Day Week Global in 2022.
A spokeswoman for the company, which employs 37 people, told MailOnline today that full-time staff are unable to take second jobs.
“RSB participated in the pilot in 2022 and the positive results mean we are running this again for our employees through 2023, although it remains non-contractual,” he said.
‘The goal of our four-day work week is to offer staff more options to manage their time by encouraging a review of work practices and behaviors to improve efficiency, allowing the same job to be completed in less time.
“This aims to create a good work-life balance and a virtuous cycle where staff are more mentally rested to help achieve the necessary productivity gains.”
Proponents of the four-day week have said that the five-day pattern is a ‘hangover’ from a previous economic era.
They also argue that a four-day week would drive more companies to improve their productivity, meaning they can deliver the same result, just in fewer hours.
In September, 88 percent of those companies in a mid-test survey said the four-day week was working “well” for their business at that stage of the test.
About 95 percent of the companies surveyed said that productivity has stayed the same or improved since the introduction.
However, only around half of the participants (41) responded to an opinion poll at the midpoint, with nearly nine in ten of the respondents saying they would keep the scheme in place beyond the trial period.
15% of respondents said that productivity had increased dramatically, while the rest reported no change or only a “slight improvement” in production.
Companies previously said they had struggled with shift chaos and staff confusion after implementing the four-day week, and bosses admitted they doubted the policy could survive the trial period.
A variety of companies and charities took part, including the Royal Society of Biology, London hipster brewery Pressure Drop, Southampton computer game developer Yo Telecom, a Manchester medical device company and a fish and chip shop. in Norfolk.
Most of the companies that have officially adopted the four-day week are in the service sector such as technology, event or marketing companies. However, the campaign said some manufacturing and construction employers had also signed up.