Deloitte Africa has today announced a move to a hybrid working model, with staff now formally allowed to split their working time between any of the Deloitte offices (or client location) depending on their roles and a remote location of their choice to deliver their work. “This will change how our work is done and where it is done,” says Justine Mazzocco, Managing Partner for People & Purpose at Deloitte Africa.
“As we recover from the various waves of the COVID-19 crisis, our initial focus will be on supporting people as they transition back to a mix of in-person and virtual work. Getting the right balance is important so we can continue to deliver an impact that matters for our people, clients, and the communities in which we live and operate,” says Mazzocco.
Mazzocco notes that even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, commercial, technological and talent factors were already starting to influence how Deloitte views the future of work. “The pandemic has accelerated this transformation, forcing dramatic changes in how our people work and engage with the firm and each other. We believe Deloitte’s hybrid working approach and our wider efforts to transform work will benefit both our clients, our people and climate goals,” says Mazzocco.
At the heart of the proposed changes is technology that allows workers to interface and collaborate from remote locations. Deloitte also sees adapting to these changes as critical for companies to attract and retain skilled professionals, as the pandemic has made workers seek more flexibility, higher job satisfaction, training and development opportunities as well as work-life balance, including mental health and well-being, from their work.
Mazzocco says the first priority is to fully transition to the hybrid model. The approach is people centric as it prioritises the most important needs of a professional and understanding of people’s expectations for their growth, development and overall experience. Mazzocco adds this approach is also client focused, in that it moves with clients based on the nature of their business and their needs as well as the needs of our people. This approach also requires inclusion, by emphasising flexibility and trusting staff to manage their time and split between office and remote work. Furthermore, the approach is driven to achieve our climate to reduce carbon emissions by cutting down travel and commuting, including air travel for servicing clients and working across different locations.
The next priority is to “win the war on talent” by becoming an employer of choice. This requires innovation in human capital and talent acquisition strategy, and it starts by using the power of the Deloitte brand globally to be top of mind for prospective employees. Deloitte aims to diversify its candidate pools by adopting new campus recruitment strategies, and consciously seeking out candidates from different demographics, including minorities or previously disadvantaged in the case of South Africa.
“This new way of working takes us into a brave new world as we adjust to the disruption caused by COVID-19. We are committed to helping our employees and ultimately our clients adapt,” says Mazzocco, who notes that in spite of the brisk rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in South Africa and the rest of the continent, the pandemic can be expected to move in waves for the foreseeable future.