The Australian arm of financial services firm Deloitte has introduced a sweeping policy to end the 9 to 5 work week for good.
Under a new policy of “flexibility” announced Wednesday in a company-wide email, Deloitte staff can design their workweek by setting their own hours.
In total, there are 12 new âflexible rulesâ, which provide that employees are granted one day of paid welfare leave per year and can exchange public holidays for cultural or religious days.
More paid time off options are available for Deloitte workers who âsupport local communitiesâ by doing things like donating blood, helping nonprofits, or volunteering in emergency departments.
Middle manager Max Dedekind, 29, from Sydney, is already enjoying politics by going surfing during his lunch break.
âWhen you play a sport like surfing, it depends on the tides,â he told news.com.au.
âYou have to align things a little more than a sport like running when you can go there anytime. It’s great to be able to work flexibly.
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Mr. Dedekind’s typical working day starts at 9am, if it is a day of surfing.
Then it comes out at 11am to jump in the waves on the beaches of eastern Sydney, Bondi or Tamarama.
He returns to his computer at 1 p.m. and works until 7 or 8 p.m.
âIt gives you a break from your day,â the chief audit executive said.
âI have trouble concentrating for nine straight hours and I think we all do.
âIt’s great for your productivity and great for your sanity. “
On days when Mr. Dedekind is not surfing, he makes an effort to enter the office.
âI definitely feel an advantage in being in the office and connecting with colleagues, I make sure I work that too (in my schedule),â he said.
He first asked his boss if he could surf during Australia’s national lockdown in March 2020.
âThe lockdown was the catalyst, from which you started to be able to ask the questions,â Dedekind said.
âIt started the conversation. I think it’s great to see people return to the office. They applied the same principles.
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Deloitte’s director of human resources, Tina McCreery, said the company’s decision to give up the 9-5 workday was only possible because it trusted its employees.
âMany offices have made 60% office work mandatory (but) we decided not to do that and trust our employees,â she told news.com.au.
âOnly a small minority of people are doing the wrong thing.
âFor us, it’s all about results. If they provide what they need to do for their job, then there is no problem.
That said, employees should still keep timesheets, especially if they need to bill clients for hours worked.
Ms McCreery is a mother of three herself and plans to make the most of the new working arrangements.
When asked if these changes were bad for young entry-level workers in the industry who might lack mentoring or socialization opportunities, McCreery disagreed.
âConnection is part of our culture,â she said.
“This (policy) is not just designed for parents, it is designed for all of our people.”
News.com.au also contacted a 23-year-old graduate at Deloitte, who said the company has put “a lot of effort” into making sure young workers meet colleagues and senior members of the company. .
Deloitte introduced the flexible changes after a global survey found women were extremely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in terms of their work-life balance.
The Woman @ Work survey interviewed 500 Australian employees and found their workload increased by 77% because they had to look after children, do housework and also work during the coronavirus pandemic.
As the pandemic accelerated Deloitte’s flexible working arrangements, many âflexibilityâ policies were already in place unofficially.