PwC to Allow Unlimited Work From Home, Pay Determined By Geographic Region

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Oct 5, 2021

Big Four firm PwC announced that, going forward, American employees can remotely work anywhere in the continental United States, Accounting Today reported. The move applies to the firm's roughly 40,000 workers in the region and includes all service lines, including tax, audit and consulting. The firm believes that this policy will not only allow workers to find arrangements to suit their needs, it will also help PwC in meeting diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) recruitment goals. Under the new policy, pay will be affected by geographic location, meaning that the pay of those who move someplace where there is a lower cost of living will be cut accordingly. In addition, there will be an exception from the policy for partners whose team members will be in the office regularly. These partners will not be allowed to totally work remotely.

While remote work had been on the rise for years, it practically exploded during the pandemic. A Pew survey from the end of last year found that 71 percent of respondents were working from home and, of those, 54 percent said they wanted to keep working at home all or most of the time, even after the pandemic is over, while a third wanted to work from home just some of the time. Only 11 percent wanted to do so rarely or never again. Workers' ardor for remote work has not faded since then, as another poll from this past July found that 43 percent of workers overall were questioning the need to return to the office entirely, and not even considering hybrid days. What's more, the lower down on the hierarchy one is, the more likely it is one will ask this question, as 53 percent of "individual contributors" have been doing so, compared to just 18 percent of CEOs. The increased flexibility is so important to people that a survey from August  found that  65 percent were willing to take a pay cut of no more than 5 percent if it meant being able to continue remote work full-time. 

Such workers, though, may be advised to keep in mind some of the drawbacks of remote work. For one, a study last year found that it negatively affects one's work-life balance, and, after examination of 3.1 million workers, that, on average, the workday is about 48.5 minutes longer. Further, 68 percent of remote workers said last December they do at least some work on the weekends as well.

Remote work has also been found to impact women's career progress: Three in five women said last year that the mass migration to the internet has negatively impacted their prospects for a variety of reasons, many of which have to do with online meetings, as 45 percent of women reported having difficulty speaking up in such contexts. 

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