Business & Lobbying

Accounting firm PwC allows US employees to work remotely

Accounting firm PwC told Reuters in an interview Thursday that thousands of its U.S. employees will be able to work remotely.

The firm will allow 40,000 client services employees based in the United States to be able to live and work virtually wherever they want to, a decision that reflects how the COVID-19 pandemic has evolved organizations’ operations.

“We have learned a ton through the pandemic, and working virtually, as we think about the evolution of flexibility, is a natural next step,” Yolanda Seals-Coffield, deputy people leader for PwC, told Reuters. “If you are an employee in good standing, are in client services, and want to work virtually, you can, full stop.”

Seals-Coffield told The Hill in an interview on Friday that employees have until Oct. 14 to tell the firm if they are interested in working remotely so that the company can “integrate virtual options into our broader return-to-office plan so that we can be sure that we put both the right compliment of a hybrid team together.”
PwC’s deputy people leader explained to The Hill that they do not anticipate this policy being used for a short period of time, but said that the policy will be reviewed on an annual basis.

Certain employees and staff already had the option to work remotely, but Seals-Coffield told the news outlet that the firm’s move to encompass all of its client services employees made it the first of its kind in its industry.

There are a few stipulations to the policy, including that employees who decide to live in lower cost areas and transition to fully remote work may see their pay decrease. Additionally, employees working remotely will need to come back to the office for up to three days per month for learning sessions and meetings, Seals-Coffield told Reuters.

If employees on teams decide to go into the office regularly, the firm’s partners for those teams will also have to go into the office on occasion. 

A PwC fact sheet explained that it was allowing employees to work remotely “to respond to what their needs are in this changing work environment, to continue to put flexibility and well-being benefits at the center, and expand the pool of people we attract and recruit to achieve our aggressive hiring goals and our DEI aspirations— all to deliver value to our clients.”

Seals-Coffield told The Hill that the company does not know how many employees will consider opting into the remote work policy, but noted that she was “100 percent confident that we’ll be able to manage through these virtual teams, and hybrid teams, and meet the needs of our clients.”

Reuters noted that employees a KPMG and Deloitte have also been able to work remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The move comes as organizations decide how to safely continue business operations during the pandemic. Some organizations have pushed back their return-to-office dates as they saw a surge of COVID-19 cases earlier this year while other companies have retained some flexibility in where employees work.

Updated: Oct. 1, 2021, 6:47 p.m. 

Tags COVID-19 Deloitte KPMG PwC

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