Deloitte Canada’s Next Normal: A hybrid work model rooted in flexibility and choice
The firm announces an updated approach to delivering optimal service and value to clients while meeting the unique needs of its people.
Toronto, July 29, 2021 – As the world begins to open up, restrictions are lifted and businesses embark on their return to pre-pandemic operations, Deloitte Canada is changing the way in which its people will work and connect in order to optimize client value, connectivity and employee well-being.
Evolving from its innovative ‘workplace of the future’ strategy model first launched in 2014 where the firm reimagined how its people worked via open collaboration spaces, technology and remote capabilities, Deloitte is now implementing a firm-wide hybrid model that redefines where and how its people work. This enhanced workplace model is rooted in flexibility and choice – values that the firm has always embodied. As Deloitte begins to welcome people back to its offices, it will not require its people or partners to re-enter the office or client sites full-time.
Under Deloitte Canada’s Next Normal hybrid work model, employees will have the flexibility to choose when they work at the office, client site or from home. With this new generation of routines and expectations, grounded in trust and client collaboration, employees can determine how and where they work in order to achieve the most valuable outcomes for clients and communities — with increased focus on their own well-being. This model is highly fluid, and much different than the firm’s previous model which was focused more on an “in-person” model with flexible options.
“For the past year, we have monitored trends, issued surveys, developed thought leadership and worked with our people, clients, and strategic partners to establish a new way of working for this new age of work,” said Linda Blair, Ontario Managing Partner and Chief Experience Officer, Deloitte Canada. “Based on those insights and learnings, we’ve come to the conclusion that the best people to determine where, when and how to work, are the people actually doing that work. We have confidence in our employees to collaborate with their clients to determine how they can work best together, whether that be virtually or in-person. Our collective goal is to provide extraordinary service to our clients, and our Next Normal will help us continue to do just that.”
While the pandemic has provided new insights into the productivity of employees working from home, research shows the hybrid work model trend is becoming increasingly popular among younger employees. According to the Deloitte Millennial Survey 2020, 61 per cent of millennials and 57 per cent of Gen Zers prefer video conferencing over travelling to work. Likewise, the Deloitte Canada 2021 employee survey revealed that our partners and people feel more productive working virtually 55 per cent and 36 per cent of their time, respectively. That’s in stark contrast to a 2016 Deloitte study that found that 90 per cent of people preferred to work at the office.
“The pandemic has made us realize that we need to do better to realize the true benefits of working in a hybrid manner. It’s not enough to just provide the option to work from home – we have to lean in to how we make more deliberate choices based on outcomes – and the impacts those choices have on well-being, emissions, collaboration and productivity,” added Blair.
Even in uncertain times, Deloitte Canada’s Next Normal team seized the moment, using this past year to pilot hybrid ways of working to strengthen relationships and deliver optimal value to clients.
“When COVID-19 started, Suncor was in the middle of a significant transformation program that included a team of Suncor, Deloitte and other individuals that would peak at approximately 500 people across seven countries and nine time zones,” said Suncor VP of Process & Data Transformation, Angela Butler. “While we thought the halt to travel would dramatically slow things down, the opposite happened. Remote delivery resulted in unanticipated productivity gains without impairing our team’s ability to collaborate to solve difficult challenges in the program. Better utilization of emerging collaborative technologies allowed us all to accomplish far more in the day, and gave team members a reliable routine from their own homes. As a result, we are getting the best global capabilities from our partner Deloitte, and driving the transformation we aspired to achieve, all on our original timelines and on our original budget, while putting less stress on our people.”
The Deloitte Canada team found that this experience provided insights and challenged assumptions about how we could adopt a fully hybrid model on a more sustained basis.
Deloitte Canada’s Next Normal is not static. As the workplace and workforce continue to evolve post-pandemic, so too will the hybrid work model. The firm is undertaking a full review of all its people processes, guidelines and workplace digital and physical experiences to ensure they reflect Deloitte’s Next Normal. The firm will ensure there is no built-in bias which favours one work location over another.
Deloitte provides audit and assurance, consulting, financial advisory, risk advisory, tax, and related services to public and private clients spanning multiple industries. Deloitte serves four out of five Fortune Global 500® companies through a globally connected network of member firms in more than 150 countries and territories bringing world-class capabilities, insights, and service to address clients’ most complex business challenges. Deloitte LLP, an Ontario limited liability partnership, is the Canadian member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited. Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see www.deloitte.com/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited and its member firms.
Our global Purpose is making an impact that matters. At Deloitte Canada, that translates into building a better future by accelerating and expanding access to knowledge. We believe we can achieve this Purpose by living our shared values to lead the way, serve with integrity, take care of each other, foster inclusion, and collaborate for measurable impact.
What is Deloitte’s Next Normal?
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