Deloitte eliminates office hours in favor of employee flexibility

Professional services firm Deloitte has done away with fixed “office hours” as its 10,000 employees in Australia have more flexibility in deciding when and where to work.

While many consultants are speculating on what the post-Covid workplace might look like, professional services firm Deloitte has taken preventative action by eliminating fixed office hours. Under a program dubbed “Deloitte Experience”, employees will no longer be required to be in the office for a set period of time, with the company’s human resources manager suggesting that the traditional 9 to 5 workday could belong to the past.

“Flexible working is essential to increase engagement and productivity, promote work-life balance and employee well-being, and recruit the best talent,” commented Tina McCreery, HR Director, Deloitte Australia . “The choice of what it means to ‘be at work’ will be up to employees so they can perform at their best and work in a way that works for their client, their team and their personal circumstances.

While the new arrangement is an acceleration of a trend towards flexibility that has been going on in the company for some time, and driven in part by the pandemic, Deloitte said it has also taken into account the findings of its own recent ‘Women @ Work’, with almost a quarter of women surveyed indicating that they had recently considered leaving the workforce entirely due to work-life balance pressures.

In addition to flexible office hours, staff will also receive an annual paid ‘wellness’ day as a bonus, with Deloitte noting that its ‘DeloitteFlex’ policy now allows for twelve flexible working options that include a wide range of leave choices such as that -the leave to be, the leave of voluntary service, the cultural holidays and the leave of care. In addition, the expected reduction in commuting among the company’s 10,000 local employers will support its efforts to eliminate carbon emissions.

“Based on concepts of trust, balance, well-being and the importance of personal connection, the Deloitte experience allows our employees to choose their workplace based on the needs of their clients, their team and each other and the way they connect with our clients and with each other, ”said Adam Powick, new CEO of Deloitte Australia. “There is no longer a one size fits all for all work weeks and no requirement to be ‘in the office’ for a fixed period of time.”

Despite the new policy, Deloitte does not expect its staff to abandon the workplace en masse, in part due to the customer-centric nature of its business. Speaking to the Australian Financial Review, the company said it had witnessed a desire to connect after the lockdown. “There’s a bit of a guess that people won’t want to come back,” McCreery said. “We don’t find that and with our employees there is a real mix of choices depending on their personal circumstances. “

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