All of Deloitte’s U.K. offices reopened as of May 17, 2021, but its chief executive Richard Houston recently announced the company is giving all of its U.K. staff the choice of when, where and how they work in the future, once it is safe to do so.
The Big Four company noted its people can access these places where they cannot work from home – be it for wellbeing purposes, where they are unable to work from home, or “business critical” work in accordance with government guidance.
“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,” Houston noted in a June 18 press release.
Ninety-five per cent of the U.K. staff that responded to an internal survey about the future of work at Deloitte said they want to have the freedom to choose how flexibly they will work in the future, while 81 per cent said they anticipated working from a Deloitte office for up to two days a week in the future.
Deloitte has had extended flexible working in place since 2014. The company says less than half of the firm’s U.K. workforce worked from home on a regular basis pre-COVID-19, and the pandemic has only accelerated its hybrid working model. Up to 20,000 people in the U.K. have worked from home or remotely since March last year.
Employee sentiments have been similar across several organizations around the world, with most wanting to work remotely permanently or have the flexibility to work remotely in the future. Many companies including Twitter, Canadian enterprise information management software provider OpenText and American software company Slack have bet big on work-from-home, and hybrid working arrangements for their employees.