PwC will allow flexible working to continue when coronavirus restrictions ease, and has said staff can finish at lunchtime on Friday during July and August.
The Big Four firm said it expects staff will spend an average of two to three days per week co-located with colleagues, either in the office or at client sites.
Staff will also benefit from an ‘empowered day’, which will give them more freedom to decide the most effective working patterns on any given day, for example, an earlier start and finish time.
The decision to adopt permanent flexible working, called the ‘Deal’, came following a consultation with employees, who called for greater flexibility in post-pandemic working.
PwC chairman and senior partner Kevin Ellis 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.
“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. 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.”
PwC is the first of the ‘Big Four’ consultancy firms to release working pattern plans for the post-Covid world.
There has been much talk about which working models will be adopted post-Covid. Many large City firms like Linklaters have already said they will grant staff more flexibility to work remotely for part of the week, however, they still consider the office and staff face-to-face time a core part their business.
Others, like Goldman Sachs chief executive David Solomon, have labelled working from home an “aberration”.
PwC chief people officer Laura Hinton added: “Our people continue to go above and beyond to support their teams and meet the needs of their clients.
“While not everyone is able to work flexibly all of the time, we want to make it as easy as possible when they do. 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.”
The policies will be phased in as lockdown restrictions ease and more people return to the office over the coming months.
PwC’s offices in England and Wales are currently open for those who feel they can be more effective in the office.