Deloitte has given its 20,000 UK staff the option of working from home (or wherever they want) forever, even after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
Richard Houston, Senior Partner and Chief Executive of Deloitte UK, said the accounting firm will not make it compulsory for employees to work for a set number of days from office or specific locations, The Telegraph reported.
"That means that our people can choose how often they come to the office, if they choose to do so at all, while focusing on how we can best serve our clients," he was quoted as saying by the publication.
The new rules mean that the employees can work anywhere as long as they are in the UK. However, Deloitte is also considering whether staff can work abroad for a period in the future, the report said.
Houston said that the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that employees can be trusted to make the right choices of when, how and where they work, "in balance with their professional and personal responsibilities".
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
In a recent internal survey at Deloitte, 96 percent of employees wanted the freedom to choose their working patterns. Four out of five employees said they wanted to work out of the office up to two days a week.
The other Big Four accounting firms - KPMG, PwC and EY - have said employees must go to the office two-three days a week, the Telegraph report added.