By the time KPMGers in the U.S. are finally allowed to leave their home offices to get reacquainted with their cubicles, fashion rules stipulate they won’t be able to wear white to work.
The new KPMG leadership team sent a message to employees on July 13 that maybe they’ll be able to return to their offices after Labor Day, but then again, maybe not.
Here’s the message, courtesy of a KPMG friend:
As we continue to provide updates related to returning to offices, we want to thank you for the flexibility you have demonstrated as we navigate these uncertain times and adjust our plans to address a rapidly changing environment. Our commitment to protecting the health and well-being of our people remains our priority. We will continue to follow the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and all applicable federal, state, and local mandates, and plan our return through a slow and staged approach. Please keep in mind that when we do return to our offices and client locations, it will be in extremely limited numbers and most professionals will continue to work from home.
And after considering key factors including feedback from the June Employee Sentiment Survey, the still unpredictable impact of COVID-19, guidance from the firm’s Pandemic Response Committee, advice from external health advisors, and consultation with the Management Committee, we have decided that no KPMG office will be open until after Labor Day at the earliest. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and share additional updates mid-August.
Our latest Employee Sentiment Survey, which received over 20,000 responses, was a key source of input for our decision, and we want to share some of its insights with you. This survey was designed to get a pulse on our people’s comfort level with the idea of returning to help inform our planning.
Based on the survey results, the majority of employees are currently not comfortable returning to a KPMG or client office, and most prefer to continue working from home in the short term. The top three concerns cited were:
- Going back too early and risking a second wave
- Concerns about the ability to properly practice social distancing in offices
- Not knowing whether others nearby may have the virus
This input was fairly consistent across geographies/offices, functions, job levels, and generations. Employees also shared that when offices do reopen, most would prefer to continue to work from home at least half the time. The response to the survey was significant, and the information is important to our continued planning, so thank you for taking the time to share your input.
And as we continue for now in our virtual environment, let’s not only stay close to each other, but also to our Values and Culture which have been a great guide for us all and will continue to be.
When I asked a KPMGer who I texted what (s)he thought of the message from leadership, I got one of these:KPMG employees have been working from home since March 19.