Big four accountancy firm Deloitte has confirmed that all its 20,000 UK employees will be able to choose when, where and how they work.
Richard Houston, senior partner and chief executive, Deloitte, commented: “The impact of the pandemic has profoundly changed our way of life, not least in the way we work. The last year has really shown that one size does not fit all when it comes to balancing work and personal lives. It has also shown that we can trust our people to make the right choice in when, how and where they work.
This is a fantastic opportunity for us to embrace the benefits from the last 16 months of being able to spend more time at home, while our people can be flexible in the way they work and reconnect with their colleagues and the office as needed” – Richard Houston, CEO
“Once the government has lifted all of the Covid-19 restrictions and we’re back up to full office capacity, we will let our people choose where they need to be to do their best work, in balance with their professional and personal responsibilities. I’m not going to announce any set number of days for people to be in the office or in specific locations. 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.”
Deloitte has had “extended” flexible working in place since 2014. While less than half of the firm’s UK staff regularly worked from home before coronavirus, the pandemic has accelerated Deloitte’s hybrid working model.
A staff survey recently revealed that 81% of respondents anticipate working from a Deloitte office for up to two days a week in the future.
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The research also showed that 96% of Deloitte’s people want to have the freedom to choose how flexibly they will work in the future. In addition, 86% of respondents ranked ‘collaborating with team colleagues’ and ‘interacting with others’ within their top three ways they envisage using the office in the future.
Once government restrictions allow for a return to offices at 100% capacity, Deloitte said it would use its offices principally for team collaboration, training and client meetings. Each business area will adapt to reflect what works best for clients and staff, with feedback helping the firm shape hybrid working in the months and years ahead.
Houston added: “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. This is a fantastic opportunity for us to embrace the benefits from the last 16 months of being able to spend more time at home, while our people can be flexible in the way they work and reconnect with their colleagues and the office as needed.
“Critically, we want to ensure that the future of work is inclusive for all of our people. With a focus on wellbeing, our flexible approach to hybrid working will create opportunities for our people to thrive and reach their full potential. In addition, our long-term future of work plans will be closely linked to our wider sustainability goals, and will ultimately help us achieve our WorldClimate commitments.”