Big four firm PricewaterhouseCoopers has announced that it will be postponing the return of its employees in light of the COVID-19 Delta variant’s rapid spread throughout the country. This highly transmissible variant is contributing to a step back in the return-to-work efforts of more and more corporate offices nationwide, with many like PwC now opting for post-Labor Day return dates.
In the beginning of August, the firm conducted a Next in Work Pulse Survey in which 1,007 full-time and part-time U.S. employees and 752 U.S. executives gave insights on workplace dynamics and COVID-19-related work measures. The report found that two-thirds of both parties favored a vaccine mandate for all employees returning to brick-and-mortar offices. 44% of executives surveyed stated that they would be taking an active role in encouraging vaccines in the next year.
PwC’s survey also gave a glimpse into post-COVID work attitudes, as nearly a fifth of those surveyed stated that they would prefer to transition to completely remote work, with a larger majority favoring a hybrid model of operation which combines in-office time with at-home tasks.
“A key theme we continue to see is business executives are keen to rebuild revenue and begin applying the lessons learned from the pandemic as they redesign how work gets done,” said Neil Dhar, Vice Chair and Chief Clients Officer at PwC. “With the surging Delta variant, the great reopening for many that was scheduled to be post-Labor Day has been delayed for many businesses we’re seeing. A growing number of companies are mandating vaccines for employees, with others pushing out their return dates further into the year, some even into the New Year.”
Another insight shows a trend of employees seeking better salaries, with 65% stating that they were looking for new jobs, most in pursuit of higher wages. Confirming this, 46% of women and 34% of men surveyed stated that they were seeking higher salaries, with 82% of Latino and 67% of Black employees seeking to see a minimization of the salary gap compared to their white counterparts.
These survey results reflect a larger trend of the COVID-19-inspired reevaluation of traditional workplace operation, the final results of which will become clearer as more employees return to the work.