Accounting and consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, or PwC, told its US employees that many of them will be allowed to work remotely indefinitely.
The firm will allow its 40,000 US-based client services employees to live anywhere they want and work virtually, the company said in a memo to employees this week.
PwC said the move makes them the “first professional services firm in the US to offer employees the option to work virtually and live anywhere in the continental US.”
“We have learned a ton through the pandemic, and working virtually, as we think about the evolution of flexibility, is a natural next step,” said Yolanda Seals-Coffield, deputy people leader for PwC. “If you are an employee in good standing, are in client services, and want to work virtually, you can, full stop.”
PwC described the moves as “not short term” and said they “are intended to be ongoing options for our people.”
But, the firm added, “we will continue to evaluate and innovate – as we do with all of our policies, benefits and flexibility.”
The company said the move is meant to recruit and retain employees.
Seals-Coffield told Reuters that employees who choose to work from home full-time will still have to come into the office for in-person appointments, critical team meetings, client visits and learning sessions, for example, at least three times a month.
The announcement comes as companies across industries grapple with an ongoing shortage of workers that some have attributed to employees reconsidering their careers and professional lives amid the pandemic.
According to a survey conducted by PwC, about 65 percent of employees are looking for a new job, up from 36 percent in May, and 88 percent of executives report seeing higher turnover than normal.
That dynamic has made it more difficult for companies to call employees back to the office without risking an exodus of staff who can find work elsewhere in a tight job market.
PwC’s survey also found that 37 percent of employees reported most valuing competitive compensation while 38 percent wanted schedule flexibility and 28 percent sought location flexibility.
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