Professional services firm PWC will now let all staff in its network choose what times they work best, as well as allowing them to decide whether they do so in a blended (part-home, part-office) way permanently.
The company’s so-called ‘Deal’ is the result of staff consultation. It gives employees an ‘empowered’ day by allowing them to decide for themselves their most effective working pattern, including whether to do their core hours by either starting earlier or finishing later.
Flexibility to continue working from home in a hybrid manner is also allowed, with PWC confirming it expects that, over time, employees will spend around 40% working remotely/at home and 60% in its own offices, or at client sites.
The additional incentive of being able to finish by noon on a Friday during the summer has also been sanctioned. Staff will now be able to work a reduced working day at the end of the week during July and August.
Commenting on the Deal, Kevin Ellis, chairman and senior partner at PWC, said: “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.”
He added: “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. The future of work is changing at such a pace we have to evolve continually how we do things to meet the needs of our people and our clients.”
The Deal marks a point of departure for PWC, in that it still expects the majority of staff to return to the office. This comes as Nationwide last week announced staff can permanently work from home if they wish.
The new policies will be phased in gradually, as restrictions ease, and more people begin returning to the office.
Laura Hinton, chief people officer at PWC, said: “While not everyone is able to work flexibly all of the time, we want to make it as easy as possible when they do.”
She added: “From discussions with our people and clients, we believe these changes will make a real difference, helping support greater work-life balance and giving our people more confidence to work flexibly.”
Ellis said the Deal was specifically designed to give staff more autonomy.
He said: “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.”