Deloitte offer agile working to drive diversity

The UK business community is waking up to the need to make flexible and agile working a priority for its people.

— Emma Codd, managing partner for talent at Deloitte

Deloitte UK has launched a new approach to agile working in order to provide over 12,000 employees with the power to choose where, when and how they work. The firm has introduced a range of new and adapted, formal and informal arrangements to incite a change in the day-to-day culture at the UK firm.

Deloitte offers all employees the right to request a formal flexible working arrangement; it also now allows them to request a block of four weeks unpaid leave each year, without reason or justification. These arrangements support the wider measures that encourage a more agile workplace, including the introduction of collaborative and adaptable working spaces, an environment that supports open conversations about agile working and improvements to technology that make it feasible.

Agile working  has taken increasing precedence as the firm seeks new ways to build its pipeline of female talent and thus improve future female leadership at the firm.

David Sproul, chief executive of Deloitte UK, commented: “We have set ambitious targets of 25% female partners by 2020 and 30% by 2030. In order to achieve these we must improve our pipeline of future female leaders by making Deloitte a place that offers the opportunity to be successful while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. This is about more than doing the right thing – a clear business imperative has been identified. As recognised by the Lord Davies review, female leadership can improve organisational performance. Deloitte is making sure it is best placed to improve and increase opportunities for female talent and benefit from the wider, more empowered group.”

The changes announced go beyond the traditional flexible working allowances and give employees the power to manage their own working practices. Beyond facilitating a greater pipeline of future female leaders, they are designed to benefit the firm and its people by:

  • Attracting and retaining top talent at all levels
  • Increasing productivity and commitment
  • Making more effective use of office space
  • Offering employees choice and power in relation to how and where they work.

Emma Codd, managing partner for talent at Deloitte, said: “The UK business community is waking up to the need to make flexible and agile working a priority for its people. We’re encouraged by nationwide changes, such as new legislation giving employees the statutory right to request flexible working, but we believe there’s far more that can be done. These changes are about striking the right balance between offering the tools to allow people to work wherever and whenever is best for them, trusting them to make the right decisions and judging them on output. The feedback we’re receiving from our people is already overwhelmingly positive.”

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