London, 24 May 2021: EY has confirmed that it will be moving to a hybrid working model in the UK, with the expectation that most of its people will normally spend at least two days a week working remotely with the remainder of their time spent working together in person at a client site or EY office. This approach builds on EY’s long-standing culture of flexible working, which had been in place for many years prior to the pandemic.
In line with Government guidance, EY is currently encouraging its people to work from home where they can, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, EY offices remain open for those needing to work from an office location. Once social distancing restrictions are lifted, EY will begin transitioning to a hybrid working model.
The announcement was made on an internal webcast for EY people earlier today. It follows a series of focus groups, surveys and pilots with EY Partners and people that have been conducted over several months. EY will start a period of experimentation from this September in which it will test, refine and evolve its approach to ensure the model meets the needs of its people, clients and other stakeholders. This will be accompanied by a longer-term programme, in which EY offices will be reconfigured to create more collaboration spaces for meetings and group working.
Hywel Ball, EY’s UK Chair comments: “Like many organisations, we have been assessing the impact of changing work patterns on how, when and where our people work. The experience of the pandemic has brought new perspectives to both our people and our clients on how they manage their working lives.
“We have championed flexible working for many years prior to COVID-19 and we will continue to do so. This has been built on a culture of trust with our people. We also believe there will always be a need for EY to have office space across the UK, but how we use our offices in the future will change with a greater emphasis on collaboration rather than as a place for individual working. We will therefore be moving to a hybrid model where our people are able to split their time between their home, office and client site.
“We will continue to listen carefully to the needs of our people and broader stakeholders as we go through this transition process. We believe a hybrid model creates an opportunity for us to maximise the benefits of both in-person collaboration and flexible remote working for our people and clients.”
Hybrid working at EY
EY’s approach to hybrid working has been designed to emphasise the importance of flexibility – both to individual and client needs – and underlines the importance of productivity rather than presenteeism. Offices are no longer expected to be the default location for work, but EY will continue to value the benefits of in-person working for collaboration, relationship building, training and wellbeing.
EY recognises that there isn’t a one size fits all approach. Individuals and different parts of the EY business will have different needs.
Concluding Hywel Ball commented: “Having been champions of flexible working for many years, hybrid working is an evolution rather than a revolution for EY. It’s about trusting and empowering our people to manage their day in a way that works for them, their teams and their clients.”