The coronavirus epidemic has turbocharged the significance of hybrid working. As we usher into a post-Covid world, we are seeing an onslaught of business leaders revisiting the traditional office life and exploring new ways to accelerate the shift to a more flexible and open hybrid work environments. Some professional services firms such as KPMG, PwC, BDO and Grant Thornton have eschewed a return to the old approach in lieu of hybrid working post-pandemic.
The latest to embrace hybrid working is the Big Four accountancy firm EY outlining latest UK plans.
The firm, which has a team of around 17,500 workers in the UK, expects that most of its staff will spend two days a week working from home.
In a statement, EY said: “EY will start a period of experimentation from this September in which it will test, refine and evolve its approach to ensure the model meets the needs of its people, clients and other stakeholders.
“This will be accompanied by a longer-term programme, in which EY offices will be reconfigured to create more collaboration spaces for meetings and group working.”
Before the pandemic hit, EY accountants and consultants spent much of their time working remotely from client sites. It would be easier for the accountancy company to make working from home part of their long-term business model.
“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,” said Hywel Ball, chair of EY UK.
EY is the third of the UK’s Big Four accountants to embrace hybrid working after the pandemic. Professional services firm PwC told its 22,000 staff in March that they would spend an average of two to three days a week in the office after the pandemic ended. KPMG’s 16,000 staff will spend six days of every fortnight working from home.
Once social distancing restrictions in the UK are lifted, EY will begin transitioning to a hybrid working model.
Hywel Ball, EY’s UK chair, said: “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.”