PwC LLP told its 65,000 employees Wednesday to expect bonus pay and merit raises this year while asking them to come to the office or work from client sites more often.
US firm leaders want PwC professionals to spend at least half their time working in-person with co-workers over the course of the year—a goal many teams aren’t achieving today, said Yolanda Seals-Coffield, PwC’s chief people officer.
Staff can work together in the office or work at a client’s location to meet that goal. Workers who are currently fully remote, roughly one-fifth of the firm’s workforce, will be asked to meet with colleagues or take part in firm activities up to three days per month, Seals-Coffield said.
Staffers heard an update on the firm’s workforce strategies Wednesday afternoon as PwC, also known as PricewaterhouseCoopers, launched its annual review season. The increased expectation for in-office work begins July 1, the start of the firm’s next fiscal year.
When the firm announced in October 2021 that it would move to a hybrid work schedule, the expectation was that staff would spend one to three days a week with their teams, either at the office or at a client’s work site. Some teams have met that goal, while others haven’t, Seals-Coffield said.
The firm’s work-from-anywhere program has also included the option to work remotely on a full-time basis. Under the revised policy, it said, those workers will be encouraged to take part in team meetings or training workshops—even if that means spending just a few hours per month in the office.
“We’ve hired tens of thousands of people over the past three years who have never had the full experience of this firm, the full experience of this community when we are truly together,” Seals-Coffield said. “So we want to bring some of that back. It will require creativity, absolutely, for people who are more geographically dispersed.”
Bonuses and Job Cuts
The firm did not disclose the size of its bonus or salary increases. Still, any bump in compensation contrasts would contrast with its competitors, which have in recent months announced layoffs in their consulting practices and expense cuts amid ebbing demand for services.
Although performance-based reductions are expected this year, PwC has no plans for market-based layoffs, the firm said. PwC did not disclose how many staff members would be cut.
Large accounting firms like PwC typically lay off staff in the spring ahead of the June end of their fiscal years,
“We firmly believe that organizations like ours that continue to invest in the development, and the upskilling, and the well-being, and the experience of their people will emerge from economic uncertainty in much stronger positions,” Seals-Coffield said.
The firm also announced plans to train its entire workforce on the basics of artificial intelligence, part of the $1 billion AI investment announced in April. The goal is to ensure that staff know enough about the emerging technology to support their clients and be more productive on the job, she said.
The funding and training is on top of a three-year, $2.4 billion commitment PwC made last year to boost the skills and marketability of its staff—an investment that came amid heavy turnover and rising wages.