EY staff to work from home at least two days a week in wake of pandemic

EY staff to work from home at least two days a week in wake of pandemic

Hywel Ball

Staff at Big Four accountancy firm EY will be allowed to work from home for at least two days per week after all coronavirus restrictions are eased.

Yesterday, EY told UK employees that 17,000 staff would shift to a “hybrid working model” that mixed home and office working once social-distancing measures were lifted.

EY said that the approach builds on the firm’s “long-standing culture of flexible working” which had been in place for many years prior to the pandemic.

The move follows similar announcements made by rival firms PwC and KPMG. Last month, Scottish Financial News reported that following an extensive consultation with employees PwC announced a deal to allow its 22,000 employees the freedom to decide the most effective working pattern on any given day.

PwC staff will also be given the flexibility to continue working from home as part of blended working, with an expectation that people will spend an average of 40-60% of their time co-located with colleagues, either in our offices or at client sites.

Earlier this month, KPMG launched a ‘four-day fortnight’ as part of a package of measures designed to offer greater flexibility, choice and support to its people.

As part of the firm’s new hybrid way of working, from June onwards, the expectation will be that KPMG’s people spend up to four days in the office spread over a fortnight, with the rest spent at home or at client sites. This plan comes in response to feedback from staff who have said that they would feel comfortable spending most of their time at home.

Hywel Ball, EY’s UK chair, said: “Like many organisations, we have been assessing the impact of changing work patterns on how, when and where our people work. The experience of the pandemic has brought new perspectives to both our people and our clients on how they manage their working lives.

“We have championed flexible working for many years prior to COVID-19 and we will continue to do so. This has been built on a culture of trust with our people. We also believe there will always be a need for EY to have office space across the UK, but how we use our offices in the future will change with a greater emphasis on collaboration rather than as a place for individual working. We will therefore be moving to a hybrid model where our people are able to split their time between their home, office and client site.”

He concluded: “We will continue to listen carefully to the needs of our people and broader stakeholders as we go through this transition process. We believe a hybrid model creates an opportunity for us to maximise the benefits of both in-person collaboration and flexible remote working for our people and clients.”

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