This Bank Just Switched To A 4-Day Workweek With No Trial Run Or Pay Cuts

The four-day workweek is taking off in several countries around the world, and now even the banks are getting on board.

Atom Bank, an online bank based in the U.K., says it slashed workers' hours earlier this month without cutting their pay, and employees are apparently loving the new model.

The bank scaled back employees' hours from 37.5 to 34 per week and gave them a choice of taking Monday or Friday off, according to a news release. The bank didn't reduce any salaries or change its operational hours to make the move, and it already rolled out the policy to all of its 430 employees.

CEO Mark Mullen says Atom was inspired by the pandemic, which has "exploded many of the myths of the modern workplace."

"We all need to be more aware of the impact of work on both our mental and physical well-being," he said in a statement.

He added that people have shown during the pandemic that they can do their jobs "as efficiently and productively" from home as they can from the office. "Why stop there?" he said.

"A four-day week will provide our employees with more opportunities to pursue their passions, spend time with their families, and build a healthier work/life balance."

Mullen told CNN that his company decided to immediately roll out the new policy on November 1, instead of giving it a test run first.

"Everyone had to do it in order for us to really truly understand whether it was going to work," he said.

Mullen added that productivity is high although some people are still adjusting to having an extra weekday off.

He told the BBC that the policy is voluntary, but staff seem to enjoy it and it's giving everyone some extra space.

"I can't be sending my staff emails on a Friday," he told the BBC. "I can't expect [...] them to respond to them."

Iceland ran a major trial of the four-day workweek in 2019, and it found that people were happier and just as productive, if not more so, under the new arrangement.

Four-day workweeks in other countries have been getting attention as well, including the United States and Canada.

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