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The accounting and consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is letting thousands of its employees work remotely after the COVID-19 pandemic transformed the concept and feasibility of the virtual office.
According to Reuters, the company will allow 40,000 of its U.S. client services employees to work virtually and live anywhere. PwC's deputy people leader, Yolanda Seals-Coffield, told the outlet that the change will be for the long term.
"We have learned a ton through the pandemic, and working virtually, as we think about the evolution of flexibility, is a natural next step," Seals-Coffield said, Reuters reported. "If you are an employee in good standing, are in client services, and want to work virtually, you can, full stop."
The move comes after PwC launched a survey amongst its employees that found about 65 percent of them were looking for a new job, which is an increase from 36 percent in May. Additionally, 88 percent of PwC executives reported seeing a higher turnover rate than normal.
According to NPR, 4 million people quit their job in April, with many in search of better pay, flexibility and happiness — or out of fear of returning to an unsafe workplace. A Washington Post article called this period of turnover "The Great Resignation."
While PwC employees will be able to work at a location of their choosing, they will have to come into the office for in-person meetings and client appointments a maximum of three times a month, the company told Reuters.
Also, members whose teams choose to work in the office will not be allowed to work completely remotely, PwC said.
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"We're confident we can manage hybrid teams," Seals-Coffield told Reuters, adding that the company expects between 30 to 35 percent of its eligible employees to chose remote work.
Employees who chose remote work and move to a new, lower-cost area may also see their pay decrease to match market rates. According to CNBC, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft and Google also operate on this model.