Someone on a throwaway told all of r/Big4 a few hours ago that they’ve been given inside information about a mandatory return to office at PwC to be announced in a couple weeks.
This screenshot couldn’t have worked out better.
Since late 2021, PwC has touted a super flexible remote work policy. Come in, don’t, whatever. This depends on your team and clients of course but as far as we are aware there hasn’t been any blanket policy to get people back into the office.
One thing to note, and others threw this out there in the Reddit post, a conspiratorially-minded person might suggest that if a business were looking to make cuts without the accompanying bad publicity that comes from layoffs, forcing people back into the office would be a really good way to do it. At least some of those people who threatened to leave if they can’t work remotely will actually leave, still more will not leave but phone it in so hard they can get counseled out without much controversy. Boom, you just eliminated a bunch of people without some business rag putting your layoffs on blast.
One other thing to acknowledge: we have seen advisory layoffs at other firms in recent months. Consulting demand is down across the board. At least down under, Big 4 firms have all said the business is slowing down and PwC Australia specifically told AFR the firm “had no plans to cut jobs despite the fall in client demand.” The red hot job market has cooled, turnover is down a bit from its frenzied peak last year, and firms are lowering their hiring targets to keep headcount numbers under control (plus there’s that whole shortage thing anyway). Steps firms are already taking appear to be sufficient for now unless the business really starts suffering. There doesn’t seem to be much reason for PwC to make a controversial move like this right now. What benefit does it serve the firm?
But wait. Is turnover actually down? No idea. These comments are all over the place.
And then there’s this from Fishbowl:
Wait what? This needs more digging into. Keep you posted. For now this rumor is definitely just a rumor unless we hear otherwise.