Barclays has found a new way to slim down its workforce, offering to chip in and help tens of thousands of staffers buy Fitbit devices as part of a new wellness programme.
Like almost all banks, Barclays has moved to trim the fat over recent years by closing branches and axing workers, nudging customers towards digital channels.
Now the bank is planning to use technology to shrink its workforce in a different way through the launch of a wellness programme at the beginning of next month.
As part of this, 75,000 employees in the US and UK across the investment bank, Barclaycard, personal and corporate bank, corporate functions, and operations and technology team will have the chance to buy a subsidised Fitbit.
The devices will help workers track their efforts to get in shape, while Barclays is also planning to add a dose of competition into its programme, taking advantage of Fitbit's mobile messaging, real time dashboards, and gamification.
"Running activity challenges across our business units and between teams will be an important part of our strategy to encourage more activity and fun in the workplace," says Dominic Johnson, director, employee relations, Barclays.