More Big 4 news from the True North, as the Calgary office of PwC has been forced – due to ‘unique market conditions’ – to close the office five times over the summer to compete with the oil and gas companies that shut down every Friday.

Calgary Summer Office Closures

As we all know, recruiting and retaining our people is critical if we are to achieve our marketplace and firm goals. Calgary is one of the toughest markets in which to retain our people. The Calgary leadership believes that one of the key reasons is the extent of time off provided by companies in Calgary. Driven by the oil and gas companies, shutting down on Fridays in the summer is a practice followed by many companies in Calgary, including our clients.

For whatever reason, the email reads strangely apologetic, as if the leadership knows how much everyone loves working on Fridays and that they HAD NO CHOICE but to take these measures are absolutely necessary:

We believe that to be an employer of choice in Calgary we must respond to these unique market conditions with the result that, on Monday, May 30, Calgary will announce that the office will be closed on five Fridays over the course of the summer. Given the strategic importance of our Setting the Pace market segment priority, we think we must move in this direction, otherwise we will continue to be at a competitive disadvantage as we seek to grow the practice and attract and retain the people we need to do so. Going forward, we will assess the continuation of this policy in Calgary based on market conditions.

And finally, it was pointed out that everyone is aware that this is grossly unfair but A) it had to be done and B) everyone will be made right one way or another:

We also think it’s important to be transparent with you around this policy so that you understand the rationale. We appreciate that adopting these office shutdown days solely in the Calgary office gives them more benefits than the rest of the firm. Our view however is that we must adopt practices that are competitive and appropriate in each of our local markets and the Calgary market presents a unique situation.

We recognize that everyone is working hard and contributes to the firm’s success. That’s why we encourage everyone to take advantage of the various forms of flexibility available, particularly during our less busy times. These include Flexible Fridays, which will be announced next week for offices outside of Calgary, Flexible Time Away, our new Flexibility code and, of course, your vacation.

Yes, don’t forget that you could use five days of vacation as opposed to being given the non-option to stay home from work. That gets everyone back to Even Steven.