Deloitte’s employees in the UK will be able to work from home forever.
Yes, you’ve read that right. The multinational professional services firm has confirmed that 20,000 workers in the UK will be able to decide how often they come into the office, if at all, once the pandemic is over.
Deloitte said it would let employees decide “when, where, and how they work” — kind of like Spotify — after the success of remote working during the COVID-19 crisis.
“We will let our people choose where they need to be to do their best work, in balance with their professional and personal responsibilities,” Deloitte chief executive Richard Houston said.
“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.”
But not all accountancy firms are feeling the same way. PwC, for example, expects workers to spend at least 40% of their time with colleagues, in the office, or on client visits, once COVID-19 restrictions allow.
EY, another one of Deloitte’s rivals, said in May that UK workers should expect to spend two days a week working remotely after the pandemic. Staff would then have to split the rest of their time between the office and client workplaces.
The UK government is likely to take a neutral position on the issue once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, at the earliest, on July 19.
According to the Guardian, staff will not be mandated to return to the workplace and companies will be given autonomy to make their own decisions.
This marks a stark contrast from the guidance offered by UK prime minister Boris Johnson last summer when he was accused of rushing workers back to struggling city centers in a seeming attempt to revive the economy despite the ongoing risk. Rishi Sunak, his chancellor, made headlines for the same reason, going as far as saying that people should be allowed back into the office or they would “vote with their feet and quit”.