All the 20,000 staff at Deloitte UK can now work from anywhere in the country on a permanent basis, according to an email sent to employees on 18 June by Deloitte UK CEO Richard Houston. Furthermore, the firm is considering allowing them to work from abroad in the future.
In the email, Houston said the pandemic has shown the firm that employees can be trusted to work flexibly and balance their personal and professional responsibilities appropriately. Hence, he will no longer require them to work in the office or from mandated locations, even for a few days each week.
“That means that our people can choose how often they come to the office, if they choose to do so at all, while focusing on how we can best serve our clients,” he reportedly said. “We want to ensure we keep the flexibility of remote working, without losing the connections and opportunities for collaboration that we need to make a difference for our clients, our people and for society.”
The move follows an internal survey that found an overwhelming 96 percent of staff wanted the flexibility to arrange their own work patterns. Earlier in the pandemic, Deloitte had alreadyclosed a number of its UK offices and put several hundred staff on permanent remote work contracts.
While a number of large tech companies including Twitter, Atlassian, and Dropbox have already moved to allow permanent flexibility for all employees where the nature of the work permits, the financial industry is generally more conservative about flexible work due to concerns about security and confidentiality. Deloitte is the first of the Big Four accounting firms in the UK to let its staff “work from home forever”.