- Accounting and consulting firm PwC supports employees who request a hybrid-work model.
- Wes Bricker, vice chair and US trust solutions coleader, says it develops "cultural sensitivity."
- Bricker said "one size doesn't fit all," and PwC is big enough to think differently.
PricewaterhouseCoopers is embracing the hybrid-work model because doing so enables employees to be "more agile," and the company believes it will help develop leaders at the consulting and accounting giant.
"If you're participating virtually, or in person, that requires leadership and the opportunity for all our managers to really work on key qualities" of communication, equity, and developing "an awareness of cultural sensitivity," Wes Bricker, the vice chair and coleader of US trust solutions, PwC's accounting and tax division, told Insider.
But other corporate leaders, like JPMorgan's CEO, Jamie Dimon, have gone on record against remote work. "You have to look at the flaws of the Zoom world," Dimon said recently, according to Yahoo Finance. "It doesn't work for an apprenticeship program. It doesn't work for spontaneous stuff."
JPMorgan has asked half of its workforce to return to the office five days a week, and another 40% to come in a few days a week. To the displeasure of some employees, the bank is collecting data on worker activity amid its return-to-office push, including tracking office attendance with ID swipes.
During a recent appearance on the "Diary of a CEO" podcast, the Canadian writer Malcolm Gladwell said working at home is not in people's "best interest," and he's "frustrated" with business leaders who are unable "to explain this effectively to their employees."
"If you're just sitting in your pajamas in your bedroom, is that the work life you want to live?" Gladwell said on the podcast. "We want you to have a feeling of belonging and to feel necessary. And if you're not here, it's really hard to do that."
Bricker said that PwC, which is hiring for more than 4,000 roles, including 590 in its consulting arm, views working from home as an opportunity for "creativity" and gives employees a chance for "self-advocating for what they need." He said, "We encourage each of our persons to identify what they need and to have the courage to raise their hand, whether it's virtually or physically, to say, 'I need more. I need more from the firm. I need more from my colleagues. I need more from my managers.'"
PwC employs about 60,000 people in the US, and Bricker said the company is "big enough and diverse enough and inclusive enough" to "diversify around expertise."
"One size doesn't fit all, one size probably doesn't even fit many," he said, and while the company would prefer that staff goes to the office two or three days a week, "that doesn't work for everyone."
"It genuinely forces us as leaders to think differently about the way people thrive," Bricker said.
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