‘Smart working’ is key as PwC pilots four-day week this summer

03 May, 2022

In recognition of the dedication, commitment and diverse needs of local PwC staff, the Channel Islands’ leadership team is introducing a ‘flexible four’ day week on a trial basis this summer across its offices in Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney.

The firm’s offices will remain open standard hours, five days a week throughout the pilot. This trial of adopting a shorter working week for its people, crucially with no loss of pay, while aiming for higher productivity per hour, will help lead the way locally as companies re-examine their working patterns.

It’s clear the Covid pandemic has shown how quickly everyone can adapt to entirely new ways of working, resulting in a marked rise in hybrid and flexible practices that don’t necessarily follow the standard daily hours and five-day working week. This bold step shows how serious PwC is about changing the narrative around how productivity and longer working hours are envisaged.

Commenting on the introduction of the upcoming pilot, PwC Channel Islands’ Senior Partner Nick Vermeulen said:

“Workers in general have emerged from the pandemic with different expectations around what constitutes a healthy life-work balance and although we’ve had strong flexibility policies for our own people here at PwC for some time now, we’re determined to do even more to be a great, innovative employer, rewarding and retaining both our current teams, as well as being a magnet for future talent on the Islands. We’re keen ultimately to embrace a new model of work which focuses on quality of outputs, not quantity of hours.”

Nick added:

“The pilot is based on a UK model of focused work, where there’s 100% pay, for 80% of hours, but with 100% productivity. We believe a measure of success of this trial will be in having a team of people who are healthier both mentally and physically, who are focused, engaged and determined to get the job done in a way that suits their diverse needs.”

PwC is well aware that to make four-day weeks a reality, the firm will rely on smart working and using technological innovations which are key enablers to staying connected and improving the working experience, while maximising productivity. Getting this new way of working right in any organisation, irrespective of size, requires ongoing engagement, open-mindedness, trust and connectedness.

Two coworkers in the office on a video conference call

Evelyn Brady - Guernsey Managing Partner of PwC Channel Islands joins Guernsey Press' Tony Curr on the Business Podcast to talk about its trial of the four-day week, what it will mean for staff, and why now is the right time to make the move.

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