PwC offers clarity about working from home

Cantillon: Accounting firm tells staff they will not be back in office until at least September

PwC’s headquarters: plans to stay closed until September 1st due to Covid-19. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

PwC’s headquarters: plans to stay closed until September 1st due to Covid-19. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

 

Big Four accounting firm PwC Ireland has taken the bull by the horns by informing staff that there will be no requirement for them to return to their office until September 1st.

In a note to staff recently, PwC managing partner Feargal O’Rourke updated them on its so-called Smart Working (working from home) model.

“In order to continue to give as much clarity as we can, we are confirming that our Smart Working model . . . will continue until September 1st, 2021. In short, no one will be required to come into our offices until then if you do not want to do so. I hope this will help people plan out their lives for the next seven months,” O’Rourke said.

Vaccine rollout

This decision should come as no surprise given the current restrictive lockdown measures in place, the current rate of infection, and the fact that the Government has set September as the target date to have all adults vaccinated against the virus.

PwC’s deadline might even prove to be optimistic given the difficulties experienced to date in the vaccine rollout, a point accepted by O’Rourke in his communications with colleagues.

Office life

But it at least it gives employees some certainty over the next seven months – something that many companies here have yet to do. It also gives us all a sense of the road that still lies ahead before we return to some level of normality.

What that looks like in terms of office life remains to be determined, a point acknowledged by O’Rourke in his note to staff.

“It is clear that all organisations will need to reimagine the office and work life post-Covid. We will be no different. This is something we have started work on and over the coming months we will need your input and engagement to help define the future of work at PwC – watch this space.”

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