PwC has become the first Big Four professional services firm to announce a post-pandemic working policy, saying it will allow staff to work remotely up to 60% of the time and take Friday afternoons off in the summer.

Under a ‘hybrid working model’, employees at PwC will combine office and remote working, with an expectation that people will spend an average of 40-60% of their time with colleagues in the office or at client sites.

The firm also intends to allow staff to choose the most effective working pattern, giving them the freedom to choose their start and finish times. In July and August, PwC employees will also be able to clock off after lunch on Fridays, having ‘condensed their working week’.

Kevin Ellis, chairman and senior partner, said: ‘These changes are in direct response to soundings from our people, who’ve said they value a mix of working from home and in the office. We want to help enshrine new working patterns so they outlast the pandemic.

‘Without conscious planning now there’s a risk we lose the best bits of these new ways of working when the economy opens up again. The future of work is changing at such a pace we have to evolve continually how we do things to meet the needs of our people and our clients.’

Meanwhile, international firm Dentons is introducing a 'no internal meetings' policy one day a week, in order to tackle Zoom fatigue. The practice - which has introduced its own agile working policy that will give people freedom over when to work from home - will also try to shorten meetings to 50 minutes and 20 minutes, rather than 60 and 30 minutes. 

A host of law firms including DAC Beachcroft, Linklaters, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Norton Rose Fulbright have all announced flexible working policies. PwC’s Big Four rivals have yet to follow suit.