Accounting giant PwC have announced they will allow their UK staff to decide their own hours this summer as well as leave work early on Fridays. In addition to being allowed to clock in and out at time which suits them best, consultants and accountants at the Big Four company will be allowed to spend an average of 40% - 60% of their time working remotely if they opt to do so. The move is expected to impact some 22,000 PwC employees based in the UK.
During the summer months of July and August, the company also will allow staff to go home or log off for the day at lunchtime.
“We’ve long promoted flexible working, and we hope today’s announcements make it much more the norm rather than the exception. We want our people to feel trusted and empowered,” said PwC chairman Kevin Ellis. “These changes are in direct response to soundings from our people, who’ve said they value a mix of working from home and in the office. We want to help enshrine new working patterns so they outlast the pandemic. Without conscious planning now there’s a risk we lose the best bits of these new ways of working when the economy opens up again.”
Other UK banking and financial services giants have been debating their own return policies over the last year. As early as August 2020, financial asset management company Schroders announced staff could work from home permanently if they wanted and, just last week, Nationwide Bank told their 13,000-strong UK workforce they could remain remote following findings that over half of staff (57%) didn’t want to go back to the office. Elsewhere, however, there is less enthusiasm for permanent, long term remote or hybrid work. A few months ago, Goldman Sachs’ CEO David Solomon described remote work as “an aberration that we’re going to correct as quickly as possible,” adding that “I don’t want another class of young people arriving that aren’t getting more direct contact, direct apprenticeship, direct mentorship.”
Commenting on the news of these new summer arrangements, PwC’s chief people officer, Laura Hinton said: “The policies will be phased in as lockdown restrictions ease and more people return to the office over the coming months.”