Two fintech leaders say the four-day working week can be introduced for the wrong reasons but another fintech leader said it presented a "win-win".
Fintech leaders have hit out at a four-day working week, saying it can undermine productivity and that it's not realistic for high-growth businesses.
Four fintech leaders took part in a session called Hiring, Hybrid Working and HR in 2022 at the AltFi Festival of Finance.
Karen Kerrigan, Moneybox chief operating officer; Tom Morisse, strategy and planning associate, people, SpenDesk; Federico Travella, CEO, Novicap and Sam Perry, strategic alliances director, Globalization Partners, discussed some of the pertinent HR issues impacting fintech in 2022.
These included hybrid working, remote hiring and four-day working weeks.
Last year, Atom Bank, one of the first challenger banks, shifted to a four-day working week for its 430 staff without cutting their pay. The bank said it had led to a spike in job applications.
And there have been increased calls for a four-day working week amid claims that it could improve people’s lives, but some employers don’t think it’s the right thing to do.
Travella and Kerrigan highlighted some of what they saw as the shortcomings of a four-day working week.
Travella said: “I personally disagree with the four-day working week,” pointing out it was a lot easier for bigger firms to introduce.
He said it in some cases it had been introduced as a tool to keep hold of employees and that it could prove problematic if there was a high workload and not enough staff to manage the workload.
“I don’t know how realistic it is in the long-term, especially for high growth businesses,” he said.
Kerrigan also expressed concerns about it, saying that she thought businesses might be introducing it in some cases to prevent employees from leaving.
But Perry said he was a fan of a four-day working week, believing it to be a “win-win”.
“We are not at a four-day working week yet. If I was a betting man, it’s definitely coming.
“Dubai are already going towards a four-day working week but I imagine in five maybe 10 years time we are going to have the confidence to do it.”
On hiring, some of the panel said their organisations now hired entirely remotely, with one arguing it took away recruitment bias.
Travella said that Novicap now hired entirely remotely and that it had lots of advantages, including being more time-efficient for the interviewee and interviewer.
He also said that “it takes away some of the biases you might have when you meet people”.
Kerrigan said Moneybox was also now hiring entirely remotely.
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