KPMG announces hybrid working model for UK staff

25 May 2021 2 min. read

Big Four firm KPMG has become the latest giant to confirm plans for flexible working schedules for its employees. The company’s 16,000 staff will now be given the option to work from home during six days of every fortnight.

Even before the pandemic, a raft of top companies were already looking to adapt their working week to accommodate the needs of their workforce. Flexible working has long been touted as a game-changer when it comes to boosting performance and increasing the inclusivity of the modern workplace, and during the lockdown months of Covid-19, this was further illustrated with many firms seeing that working from home, and on flexible hours, actually boosted productivity.

Amid the mounting evidence that the age of office micromanagement is no longer fit for purpose, PwC announced long-term changes to its working week, with the launch of its new flexibility scheme. Just a few weeks later, Big Four rival KPMG has now announced similar plans to offer up a hybrid working model for its staff.

KPMG announces hybrid working model for UK staff

KPMG has said it will introduce a strategy that includes a “four-day fortnight,” as well as a £44 million investment into collaboration spaces and remote working technology for its employees. The 16,000 employees who work for the professional services giant were consulted on the plans in March 2021, and a majority expressed a desire to continue working remotely.

A large 87% of respondents told KPMG they enjoyed not having to commute, while 76% added they enjoyed the greater flexibility working from home offered. To that end, KPMG’s fabled “four-day fortnight” sees it deploy a flexible approach to time in the office, with employees able to spread four 'in-office' days across two weeks. The days they choose to be in the office can then be used for in-person collaborative work and training.

KPMG’s new CEO Jon Holt stated, "We trust our people… Our new way of working will empower them and enable them to design their own working week. The pandemic has proven it's not about where you work, but how you work. We have listened to our people and designed this strategy around our staff and how they can best support our clients."

The new plans strike a markedly different attitude toward employee wellbeing from Holt’s predecessor. In February, Bill Michael was forced to step down as the firm’s UK Chairman and Senior Partner, after comments he made in an internal online meeting. Michael reportedly told consultants to “stop whining,” amid a discussion about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on their working lives.

Michael also accused staff of “playing the victim card” regarding KPMG’s staff performance measurement technique, which sources told the Financial Times ranked staff from best to worst.