Professional services firm Deloitte has become the latest large company to introduce a new flexible working policy to its staff which stipulates they can work from home indefinitely once the pandemic is over.
Deloitte’s chief executive Richard Houston confirmed that all of its UK employees will be able to choose “when, where and how they work in the future, once it is safe to do so”.
Deloitte has previously had some form of extended flexible working in place since 2014. Although fewer than half of the firm’s UK workforce worked from home on a regular basis pre-Covid-19, the pandemic has accelerated Deloitte’s hybrid working model, said the firm.
Up to 20,000 people in the UK have worked from home or remotely since March last year.
Houston said: “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.
“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.”
A recent staff survey revealed that 81 per cent of respondents anticipate working from a Deloitte office for up to two days a week in the future. The research also showed that 96 per cent of Deloitte’s people want to have the freedom to choose how flexibly they will work.
In addition, 86 per cent of respondents ranked “collaborating with team colleagues” and “interacting with others” within their top three ways they envisage using the office.
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.”