Deloitte scraps office hours in favour of employee flexibility

04 July 2021 2 min. read

Professional services firm Deloitte has scrapped fixed ‘office hours’, with it’s 10,000 employees in Australia granted an increased flexibility in deciding when and where they work.

With many consultancies speculating on what the post-Covid workplace might look like, professional services firm Deloitte has made a preemptive move by eliminating fixed office hours. Under a scheme dubbed ‘Deloitte Experience’, employees will no longer be required to be in the office for any set amount of time, with the firm’s human resources boss suggesting that the traditional 9 to 5 workday could well be a thing of the past.

“Flexible working is critical to increasing engagement and productivity, supporting work-life balance and employee well-being, and recruiting top talent,” commented Tina McCreery, Deloitte Australia’s Chief Human Resources Officer. “The choice of what it means to ‘be at work’ will rest with employees so they can be at their best and work in a way that suits their client, their team and their individual circumstances.”

Deloitte scraps office hours in favour of employee flexibility

While the new arrangement is an acceleration of a trend toward flexibility that has been underway at the firm for some time, and driven in part by the pandemic, Deloitte said that it had also taken into account the findings from its own recent ‘Women @ Work’ survey, with nearly one quarter of female respondents indicating that they had recently considered leaving the workforce altogether due to pressures related to work-life balance.

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

“Founded on concepts of trust, balance, wellbeing and the importance of personal connection, the Deloitte Experience empowers our people to make choices about where they work based on their client, team and individual needs and how they connect with our clients and each other,” said new Deloitte Australia CEO Adam Powick. “There is no one size fits all working week any more and no requirement to be ‘in the office’ for any set amount of time.”

Despite the new policy, Deloitte isn’t expecting its personnel to abandon the workplace en masse, due in part to the client-focused nature of its business. Speaking with the Australian Financial Review, the firm said it had witnessed a desire to connect post-lockdown. “There is a bit of an assumption that people won’t want to come back in,” said McCreery. “We don’t find that and with our people there’s a real mix of choice based on their personal circumstances.”