PwC Channel Islands said an ‘everyday flexibility’ approach launched last autumn had paid dividends, with staff able to choose whether to work from home or the office – with the expectation the office continues to have a role.
Flexibility is also applied to when people work their contracted hours, fitting in with personal needs and commitments, and planning this flexibility alongside the needs of the business and clients.
Technology has been key to enabling the approach, with productivity and performance since launching the approach confirming the business, which employs about 400 people, was ‘on the right track’.
‘There have been some initial challenges, as would be expected, and we have learnt a lot in a few months,’ said the professional services firm.
‘We have learnt that some of us prefer the office routine and simply work better that way.
‘We learnt that building personal relationships with clients and new colleagues can be more difficult when working remotely; that it can be harder for virtual on-the-job coaching and mentoring.
‘We have seen how working from home can be challenging if the environment is not fit for purpose and that it can lead to the feeling of self-isolation, resulting in mental health and wellbeing issues.’
It added: ‘For these reasons, we still believe the office will provide an important hub for interaction, innovation, support and coaching amongst our people, and we actively encourage our people to find a balance that works for them alongside their clients’ needs.’
Roland Mills, partner and people leader at PwC Channel Islands, said it had long promoted flexible working with initiatives such as eliminating landlines and going mobile first and ‘dress for your day’ policies over the years.
‘Our people are our biggest strength and we want to be the employer of choice for when it comes to having an engaged, productive, healthy and digitally enabled team, knowing that this is key to attracting, retaining and motivating the most diverse talent,’ he added.
‘The PwC Channel Islands model does not exactly replicate those most recent announcements made at PwC UK.
‘The key message is consistent in that we are making flexibility the norm rather than the exception, ensuring our people feel trusted and empowered to work not just where but when suits them best.’