The pandemic has taken its toll, no doubt, but it also has its very vague glimmers of hope, at least for a few. It is perhaps thanks to the pandemic that the accounting and consulting firm PwC has relaxed its rigid working rules and adopted remote working on a permanent basis. This was according to a statement given by the company to Reuters.
The what and the why
This fairly progressive new policy is offered to 40,000 of its employees in the United States who work in customer service. According to the policy, employees will have complete freedom to work from home from virtually any location they choose, and if they wish, they can also do so permanently. The pandemic has of course taken its toll, but it also has those small, vague silver linings that let in rays of innovation and progress.
The pandemic has made companies more flexible with employees given the critical condition and fear of infection that still looms. For example, PwC was a company known for its rigid rules and for making its employees work around the clock. It looks like the pandemic has given that attitude a 360-degree change. Besides PwC, other accounting firms like Deloitte and KPMG have also adopted the remote working option for employees due to the pandemic.
According to Yolanda Seals-Coffield, deputy head of human resources at the firm, PwC is one of the first in its field to embrace full-time remote working, especially for customer service employees. Other PwC employees who did not have to engage directly with customers already had this option open to them. Customer service employees, if they choose this virtual working option, will only need to come to the office three times a month. This will include fulfilling in-person appointment responsibilities, such as client visits and team meetings.
However, there is one thing that should be taken into account when considering this option. The location of the employee will have a direct impact on their compensation. Employees working in places where costs are lower will also see a decrease in their pay. According to PwC, the main goal of this idea of permanent remote work is to facilitate the retention of talent while fostering diversity. The company is confident that this offer will get a positive response with around 35 percent of employees accepting the offer.
Adapting to difficult circumstances is second nature to humans. PwC is a good enough example of turning the pandemic into a learning experience, helping it evolve so that further progress can be made in the long run. After all, as the old saying goes, “change is the only constant” and accepting that change is crucial for growth and development.