Deloitte is allowing its 20,000 UK employees to decide how often they come back into the office, if at all. They are the latest firm to embrace ultra-flexible working by letting its workforce choose how often they work from home after remote working was a success during the pandemic.
Since 2014, the accounting firm has offered more flexible working opportunities. This latest announcement will see the company suspending its office-focused approach once the final lockdown restrictions end next month.
Staff choose their workplace
The impact of the pandemic has undoubtedly changed our way of life significantly, especially in the way we work. After seeing the success staff made of working at home over the last 16 months, Deloitte says it wants to let people choose where is best for them to do their best work that balances their professional and personal responsibilities.
Staff won’t have set days that they should be in the office or at specific locations. Instead, it will be entirely up to them to decide. The firm says it will use its office space for team collaboration, training and client meetings. However, each team will need to ensure that this arrangement suits both clients and staff.
Deloitte is not the first employer to offer flexible working. However, it goes beyond what its rivals are offering. KPMG, Ernst & Young (EY), and Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) require staff to spend at least two days in the office each week.
Future of work
Deloitte’s new approach to flexible working comes after 15,000 staff responded to an internal survey on the future of work. More than 80% said they expect to work in the office for two or fewer days a week. Meanwhile, around 90% said that choice and flexibility should be at the heart of how Deloitte operates in the future.
The company says this new way of working is a fantastic opportunity for the company to embrace the benefits from the last year. It sees this move as a way of enabling its workforce to be more flexible in the way they work while still reconnecting with the office when needed. It also fits into the company’s wider sustainability goals.
Deloitte’s announcement follows speculation that millions of UK workers could have the right to work from home if ministers approve plans to see working from home become automatic after the pandemic. The government is consulting on plans that could stop employers from forcing employees to come into the office unless they can prove it’s essential. Instead, flexible working or working from home would become an employee’s automatic right unless the employer could demonstrate a good enough reason for it not to be possible.
Further flexible working guidance
- Watch the free webinar recording: Flexible Working – Understanding Your Employer Obligations.
- View the ACAS code of practice: Handling in a reasonable manner requests to work flexibly.
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