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Atom Bank’s Four-Day Working Week Made Permanent After Record-Breaking Year

It is now more than a year since Atom bank became the largest UK business, and the first bank, to move all employees to a four day working week, with no change in salary. In that time, Atom has seen a significant positive impact on employees, customer service, and operations – as well as hitting a number of significant business milestones during 2022.

Customer goodwill and satisfaction, the most important metric by which the impact of the four-day week was judged, has risen, contrary to expectations that the new working structure could lead to a decline in service levels. Customer goodwill rose from 83 in November 2021, to 87 in November this year.

Meanwhile the ratings of Atom’s iOS and Android apps, vital for a digital only bank, are at new highs, with both now rated 5 having hit 4.8/5 this year. Atom has also reached 7.7 on Trustpilot, making it the 3rd best rated bank in the UK and its NPS is now +86, the highest it’s ever been.

Happier and more productive people

It is clear that the four-day week is an attractive proposition for people looking for a healthier work life balance. Atom has seen applications for roles increase by a third (33 per cent) this year, compared to 2021, with headcount increasing from 451 to 468. Most significantly, given the fierce war for talent in the UK, Atom’s employee attrition rate has declined hugely.

From November 2021 to October 2022, Atom’s attrition rate decreased by over a fifth (22 per cent) on the previous year. The four-day week has also resulted in people becoming more motivated and satisfied in their roles. There was a 12 per cent rise in people engagement during the latest internal survey in October compared to February 2021.

A fantastic year for Atom

Alongside these metrics, Atom has also achieved significant business growth under a four-day working week. Total customer numbers have had a record increase, with 80,000 people deciding to bank with Atom in 2022, up 77 per cent on last year.

Savings balances nearly doubled this year (up 96 per cent) to over £5billion, with Atom launching a 9-month Fixed Saver and offering some of the best rates in decades to support savers during the cost of living crisis.

Atom recently saw two consecutive months of record operating profit in October then November, a positive step as the bank seeks to reach profitability. Atom has also raised more than £100million in equity in the last 12 months, which will be used to fuel further lending and drive the ongoing growth and development of the bank.

Company transformation

Anne-Marie Lister, chief people officer at Atom, said: “Moving to a four-day week has not been without its difficulties, however it is one of the most transformative things we’ve done as a company.

“Since we launched our trial in November 2021, we have not only seen a more productive, healthier, and, crucially, happier workforce, but our customer service metrics are at record highs and more people are looking to start a career with Atom. It took a lot of planning, communication and listening to make it work, but having started out as a pilot we have now confirmed the new working structure into people’s contracts.

“Sceptics may argue that a business couldn’t grow under a four-day week, however this year has been one of continued progress and development at Atom. Customers have flocked to the bank in record numbers and the service we have offered them remains among the best in the country. With our latest capital raise allowing us to fuel further growth, we are confident that we will see another fantastic year for the business and our people as we move into 2023.”

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