As we all gradually adapt to a new blended way of working from the office, client sites and home, our new Deal for our people clearly outlines what we expect from them and what they can expect from the firm in return. Covering everything from how our people are empowered and how they make a difference, to how they are valued and grow, the Deal is designed to support everyone in being the best they can be, both professionally and personally. The main focus of the Deal this year has been on Empowered Flexibility and ensuring this becomes embedded in our ways of working and our culture across the firm.
Empowered Flexibility recognises that the world of work has changed and that each of us has a unique set of skills, circumstances and priorities. It builds on the hard work, commitment and agility that our people have demonstrated, particularly throughout the pandemic. And ultimately, it’s based on trust and the concept of two-way flexibility, giving everyone more freedom to work in a way that works better for them, but also meets the needs of their teams, the wider firm and our clients.
The empowered working day outlined in the Deal, means our people can decide their most effective working pattern on any given day. Hours can be worked at any time, and as part of our blended approach, we’ve also been clear about our expectation around where our people will work as the pandemic eases. Most are expected to work co-located with colleagues in an office or on a client site for 40-60% of their working week, with the rest of their time spent working from home.
We encourage teams to have open conversations about their working patterns and leaders are expected to role model and encourage this flexible approach.
Empowered Flexibility will help to support our people in achieving a better work-life balance, while also giving them the opportunity to benefit from learning, networking and socialising in person with colleagues and clients.
“The Empowered Flexibility aspect of the new Deal makes a big difference as it means I can plan ahead for my day in a way that fits around my needs, the team’s needs and my client work. It sends the message to me that it’s ok to work in a way that isn’t the same as everyone else.”
From hobbies to childcare, religious commitments to important family events - Empowered Flexibility recognises that our people have a life outside PwC, and aims to help them balance that with their work commitments.
Senior associate Fahim Islam explains what Empowered Flexiblity means to him and how it’s made conversations about prayer easier:
“My faith is very important to me and prayer is a big part of who I am. As a Muslim I have five daily prayers to make throughout the day, and these times change throughout the seasons. Up to four of the prayers are during typical working hours. The timing of prayers can fall during a meeting or a client call and sometimes I may need to ask my team to cover these for me.
“It might sound like a simple conversation to have, but often I felt anxious to bring it up in case colleagues or clients found it difficult to understand why I needed to take this time out. But for me, to be comfortable in the workplace it’s important that I can speak up and be open about my religious beliefs and these conversations have become more comfortable over time.
“The Empowered Flexibility aspect of the new Deal makes a big difference to me as it means I can plan ahead for my day in a way that fits around my needs, the team’s needs and my client work. It sends the message to me that it’s ok to work in a way that isn’t the same as everyone else and it makes it less awkward to have conversations about how I want to organise my day. It’s taken a lot of anxiety out of conversations I used to sometimes find difficult.
“The Deal gives me the tools I need to feel empowered to be myself at work. It helps to build understanding that we all work in different ways which can still be balanced with the needs of the firm and our clients.”
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Corporate Affairs, PwC United Kingdom