PWC: 40,000 Americans told they can work from anywhere as one of biggest employers yet goes full remote

Accounting giant PwC allows US employees to permanently work from home, with a caveat involving lower pay

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
Friday 01 October 2021 08:46
<p>PwC has allowed its American employees to work from home permanently </p>

PwC has allowed its American employees to work from home permanently

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Accounting and consulting firm PwC has decided to permanently allow its 40,000 client-service employees in the US to work remotely from anywhere.

PwC’s new policy will allow the majority of its 55,000 American employees to work virtually if they want. The company's support staff and employees in areas such as human resources and legal were earlier allowed to work virtually full time.

The remote-work policy is a tectonic shift from the accounting industry’s traditional work culture that encourages people to put in overtime and work in the office till late at night.

“We’re confident we can manage hybrid teams,” said PwC's deputy people leader Yolanda Seals-Coffield, claiming the firm was the first in the accounting industry to make full-time virtual work available to client-service employees.

Ms Seals-Coffield insisted that the employees who choose to work virtually would have to come to the office a maximum of three days a month for appointments, client visits and team meetings.

However, employees who opt to work virtually full-time from a lower-cost location would be subjected to a pay cut, she added.

Alphabet Inc‘s Google also bases employees’ pay on their location, with those who work from home subject to reduced income.

“We have learned a ton through the pandemic, and working virtually, as we think about the evolution of flexibility, is a natural next step. If you are an employee in good standing, are in client services, and want to work virtually, you can, full stop,” Ms Seals-Coffield was quoted as saying by Reuters.

PwC’s research suggested 30 to 35 per cent of its eligible workers will take the firm up on the offer, according to Ms Seals-Coffield.

In June this year, PwC said it would hire 100,000 people over the next five years in jobs that would help clients report on diversity and climate. The firm currently employs 284,000 globally.

Other accounting firms such as Deloitte and KPMG have also given their employees the choice to work remotely amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Deloitte’s chief executive Richard Houston said the firm’s 20,000-strong workforce will be able to choose when, where and how they work in the future.

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