KPMG switches to flexible working plan for UK staff – ET RealEstate

LONDON: KPMG on Thursday announced new flexible working plans to allow its UK staff to work in offices up to four times per fortnight from next month as Britain loosens coronavirus restrictions.

The global accountancy firm has followed other corporate giants such as HSBC and Proxima in offering hybrid working patterns to its workforce during the pandemic.

KPMG’s 16,000 UK staff will be able to come into its offices for in-person work, meetings and training, with the remaining working hours spent at home and client sites.

Employees will also be given an extra two-and-a-half hours off per week during the summer months, which staff can choose to take in the morning or afternoon.

KPMG UK chief executive Jon Holt said: “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.”

A March survey of KPMG UK’s staff indicated that 76 percent enjoyed the greater flexibility of homeworking, 65 percent felt they had a better work-life balance, and 87 percent liked not having to commute.

“Our offices will become a place people go to collaborate and learn,” Holt said.

“The pandemic means we have a cohort of people who have never been in the office and coached face-to-face — we need to get those connections back.”

A poll of 20,000 adults by think-tank Demos in December 2020 suggested 79 percent of people working from home preferred to continue doing so to some extent even after lockdown restrictions eased.

But there are fears that permanently switching to remote and hybrid working will hollow out city centres as hospitality and retail businesses suffer from lower footfall.

Britain has been one of Europe’s worst-hit countries by the pandemic, with nearly 128,000 deaths from the virus, but it now has a roadmap to unlock the economy following months of lockdown measures and a successful vaccine rollout.



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Google to move to hybrid workplace model: Sundar Pichai – ET RealEstate

NEW DELHI: Google will move to a hybrid work week, where most Googlers spend approximately three days in the office and two days “wherever they work best”, according to a note by Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai.

About 20 per cent of Google’s workforce will continue to work remotely after its offices reopen later this year, while about 60 per cent Googlers will come together in the office for a few days a week, Pichai said.

“Since in-office time will be focused on collaboration, your product areas and functions will help decide which days teams will come together in the office. There will also be roles that may need to be on site more than three days a week due to the nature of the work,” he added.

The India-born executive also noted that the company will offer opportunities for employees to apply for completely remote work (away from team or office) based on their role and team needs.

As per the financial details released in Q1 2021, Google has 139,995 full time employees worldwide. While Google doesn’t disclose country-specific headcount, the company is estimated to have over 4,000 people in India.

Google has been investing in India as a strategic hub for its global product development. It has been expanding its employee base across product areas like Search, Cloud, Payments, AI research and has presence in four cities like Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Gurugram.

“Before the pandemic, we had thousands of people working in locations separate from their core teams. I fully expect those numbers to increase in the coming months as we develop more remote roles, including fully all-remote sub teams…

“Taken together these changes will result in a workforce where around 60 per cent of Googlers are coming together in the office a few days a week, another 20 per cent are working in new office locations, and 20 per cent are working from home,” he said.

Google staff will also be able to temporarily work from a location other than their main office for up to 4 weeks per year (with manager approval) going forward. The company will also continue to offer extra “reset” days to help employees recharge during the pandemic in 2021.

“I am profoundly optimistic that once we do, we will be able to come back together in our offices to see all the people we have missed. And we’ll be able to work together in entirely new ways that improve both our work and our lives. The future of work is flexibility,” he said.



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